- Hans Weber
- February 27, 2024
Czech and Slovak Prime Ministers Strengthen Defense Cooperation with Sweden
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his Slovak counterpart Ľudovít Ódor have come to an agreement to enhance defense cooperation with Sweden. In a meeting held in Prague on July 5th, the leaders discussed various pressing issues, including illegal migration, safeguarding the external border of the European Union, and supporting Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Fiala commended the improved collaboration between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in dealing with illegal migration, emphasizing its pivotal role in avoiding the need for restrictive measures at their shared borders. The two countries have also agreed to exercise the discount clause for the joint purchase of infantry fighting vehicles. The first meeting with the Swedish representatives is scheduled to take place next week.
In May, the Czech government approved the purchase of 246 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (BVP CV90) from Sweden for a total of 59.7 billion crowns, as outlined in an intergovernmental agreement.
Furthermore, the leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening the protection of the EU’s external border and improving return policies. They also discussed the Euro 7 standards and the importance of ensuring energy security.
During a joint press conference, Slovak Prime Minister Ódor emphasized the open and amicable relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He further expressed a sense of belonging in the Czech Republic.
Ódor assumed office in mid-May and had his first meeting with Fiala at the end of May in Bratislava during the Globsec international security conference. Last week, the prime ministers of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries gathered in Bratislava, where Ódor, alongside Fiala, welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Over the weekend, the Czech Republic assumed the one-year presidency of the V4 from Slovakia. During this period, the country aims to build upon the previous presidency’s efforts to reinforce cooperation based on the principles of human rights, freedom, and democracy.
In addition to these objectives, the V4 must provide unequivocal and resolute support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as the country has been facing a Russian invasion since February last year.
Article by Prague Forum