Deutsche Welle
March 15, 2022

Czech soldiers to lead NATO support for Slovakia

The Czech Republic is sending 650 soldiers to help Slovakia protect its border with Ukraine. The troops will be heading a fresh NATO contingent in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

…Some 650 Czech soldiers will lead the 2,000-strong multinational NATO military operation in Slovakia, the largest Czech foreign deployment in many years.

Hundreds of soldiers from The Netherlands, Poland, Germany and 400 US troops are also part of the contingent to be stationed in eastern Slovakia, along with the Patriot air defense system.

Slovakia relies on Czech support

According to polls, most Slovaks have for years been opposed to the NATO military presence in Slovakia, especially the presence of American soldiers. The left-wing opposition in particular is strongly anti-American….

***

Our pilots can shoot down foreign aircraft over the territory of the Czech Republic, and Czech pilots can do the same over Slovak territory if necessary. That is a really big transfer of sovereignty, that is what makes our cooperation possible,” [Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad] said.