“The reason is natural circulation of personnel in connection with leavings of professional soldiers,” reads the statement of Defence Ministry, as quoted by Sme. Moreover, Defence Minister Martin Glváč denied speculation about any document demanding increasing of numbers in Slovak army in connection with Ukraine conflict.
However, it is obvious that Slovak army is taking on new recruits at a faster pace than it has been doing so far. During 2014, 466 soldiers left the army and 616 came. In 2015 another 785 should come. Currently, there are around 2,000 open positions in Slovak army, according to Sme.
More soldiers will also increase the Defence Ministry expenses and first predictions of Slovak budget show that the defence budget should increase from €797 million to €806 million.
Such recruitment however will not improve the defence situation of the country because numbers are still low, according to Central European Policy Institute (CEPI) Senior Fellow Jaroslav Naď.
“At least, it can serve as compensation for active reserves which the ministry should create but it is still procrastinating,” Naď told Sme, adding that real strengthening of Slovak forces will depend also on positions which new recruits get.