Slovak Chief of General Staff Handed Over V4 Presidency to His Czech Counterpart

15. mája 2019 21:15
Vysoke Tatry, May 15 (TASR) - At the invitation of Chief of the General Staff Daniel Zmeko, generals from the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary met in Tatranska Lomnica (Presov region) on Wednesday in connection with the termination of the Slovak presidency of the Visegrad Four (V4) grouping (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), TASR learnt on the same day. During a joint statement, Zmeko symbolically handed over the V4 presidency, which ends on June 30, to his Czech counterpart and they both declared readiness of a common V4 EU Battlegroup that will be on alert for deployment from July 1. The partners also discussed joint training activities, co-operation of special forces and the development of regional co-operation in the area of military health in the light of the current security situation in the region. "The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the state of co-operation over the past year and at the same time to hand over experience to the Czech Republic. We've opened a debate on further procedure in creating a model for the European Union's joint battlegroups after 2020 and in 2023, by deploying modular troops and permanent structures of particular countries that will be co-ordinated and will have a common goal," said Zmeko. The chief of the General Staff added that the V4 joint battle group has a total of 3,800 soldiers from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary as well as Croatia. It will be on alert by the end of the year. It is designed to implement measures to prevent a crisis or mitigate any crisis within a range of 6,000 kilometres from Brussels. "Our country is contributing 229 soldiers to the organisational structures of this group," stated Zmeko. First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Republic's Army Jaromir Zuna confirmed that the Czech Republic will follow-up and develop during its presidency what has been started during the Slovak presidency. "We've prepared a further development of the vision of defence co-operation within the V4 countries, which includes a number of objectives - from revision of strategic co-operation to training and co-operation of special forces and military health," he said. am/mcs
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