UKRAINE could be part of the Battle Group task force slated for launch in 2016 by the armies of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries (Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic), the V4 defence ministers said on June 3 at a session ahead of the official meeting of defence ministers of NATO-member states in Brussels.
“We discussed various forms of cooperation, not only Ukraine’s participation in the V4 task force, on which we agreed,” Slovak Defence Minister Martin Glváč told the TASR newswire. He added that during the Slovak presidency of the V4, which Slovakia will take over from Hungary as of July 1, it will be important for planned projects to become reality.
Hungarian Defence Minister Csaba Hende said that he has already discussed with Ukraine the ways in which it could help the battle group. Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický suggested that Ukraine should present specific proposals of how it could contribute to the joint task force.
All the defence ministers also reiterated their common interest in joining a battle group certification exercise and the NATO Trident Juncture 2015 exercise. Glváč at the meeting thanked Hungary for its outgoing V4 presidency and declared interest in building on previous successful cooperation. A plan for joint military exercises of the V4 armies should be created during the upcoming Slovak presidency.
Glváč proposed that the next meeting of V4 ministers - under the remit of the Slovak presidency - should be added to by Ukraine. “I proposed it and my suggestion was accepted,” TASR quoted him as saying.
Slovakia, as the V4 president, will promote close cooperation of military intelligence services and that cooperation will be extended by Romania and the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), according to Glváč. The details should be discussed during the visit of Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak to Bratislava on June 12. Another of Glváč’s initiatives involves a meeting of V4 military intelligence heads with the Ukrainian military intelligence top officials also present.