As was his wish, defence minister Lubomir Galko has decided to reduce the number of Slovak troops stationed in Cyprus as part of the UNFICYP mission, with Serbia to make up for the reduction.
Galko announced the news yesterday while on a visit to Zagreb in Croatia, while saying the cutting the number of Slovak soldiers there would not change anything in terms of Slovakia’s commitment to the peacekeeping mission there.
Back in March Galko made a public statement that the 200 or so Slovak troops based in Cyprus were almost superfluous and costing too much money, money that his department could not afford. Foreign affairs minister Mikulas Dzurinda was enraged by his comments and lack of tact at the time.
The reduction, probably of around 40 soldiers, is at least a kind of compromise for Galko, who said previously that he wanted Slovakia to concentrate its military presence more on the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the ALTHEA mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of which Slovakia now commands.