Berlin previously decided to hand over defense systems to Slovakia free of charge with the aim of strengthening Slovakia’s eastern border with Ukraine, the Slovak Defense Ministry announced.
Strengthening the country’s air defense is done in the context of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI). The European countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched this initiative from the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine to protect the external borders of Europe, explained the Ministry of Defense.
The Slovak military received special training to use the weapons provided, the authorities of this country reported.
Besides Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, United Kingdom, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Slovenia and Hungary also joined the initiative, published on the website of the ministry. through the local press.
The German Federal Chancellor OIaf Scholz stated that a common European air defense would be safer and cheaper if each state could guarantee its own security individually.
The German defense company Rheinmetall, which has seen a stock market boom since the confrontation in Ukraine, produces most of ESSI’s weapons, local experts reported.
On February 24 last year, President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation to protect the population of the rebellious Donbas region, as well as to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine.
The information about the German supplies became known when the social-democratic party Smer won the elections in Slovakia and its candidate for prime minister Robert Fico called for the end of his state’s military support for Ukraine.