Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech government approved earlier today the sending of 650 troops to Slovakia, the Czech News Agency (ČTK) reported.
Planned until the end of June 2023, the deployment is meant to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank as the war continues to rage in Ukraine, which shares a small border with Slovakia.
The North Atlantic Alliance is also planning to bolster its military presence in the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
For an estimated cost of 540 million Kc (around €21 million), the dispatch still must be validated by the Czech Parliament.
“I believe the mandate will be approved as soon as possible,” Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová (ODS) told ČTK.
“I light of Putin’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine, there is no time to procrastinate. We want to help our Slovak partners build a battlegroup that we would command”.
About 50 soldiers of the Czech contingent will set up and manage a refugee centre near Liptovský Mikuláš in Slovakia for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.
The rest will join a multinational NATO battlegroup comprising troops from Germany, the United States, Poland, Slovenia, and the Netherlands.
The Czech army is also sending troops to Latvia and Lithuania.