Bratislava/Ljubljana – The Slovakian government has approved the establishment of a new NATO battlegroup in Slovakia that is expected to feature 2,100 soldiers, including up to 100 Slovenian soldiers. The proposal has to be approved by the Slovak parliament, and no decision on this has yet been made by the Slovenian government.
As the Slovak news agency TASR reported on Wednesday, the battlegroup could start to operate on 15 March in what is a decision by NATO to enhance its forward presence in the eastern part of the alliance in light of the war in Ukraine.
This comes after Slovak Ambassador to UK and former defence minister Robert Ondrejcsak tweeted that “the Slovak Government just approved military presence of 6 NATO allies as a part of a newly created NATO battlegroup in Slovakia – 2,100 soldiers. Czechia (up to 600), Germany (700), The Netherlands (200), USA (400), Slovenia (100), Poland (100) – welcome and thank you!”
Slovenian Defence Minister Matej Tonin has recently said that Slovenia is ready to support Ukraine’s EU accession and boost the presence of the Slovenian Armed Forces in the eastern NATO member states.
This is something that the Slovenian government has yet to decide on, and the parliament is also expected to have a say in this.
The Defence Ministry told the STA that the procedure was yet to be completed, adding that the final decision on the number of soldiers was not yet made.
A spokesperson of the Slovak Defence Ministry said that the aim was to express readiness for joint defence against any threat, adding that by doing so NATO members confirmed that a possible attack on one member would be considered an attack on all members.
Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, NATO member states have agreed to set up multinational battle groups along the entire eastern flank of the alliance, including Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, reported the TASR.