Slovakia has had its hand slapped by NATO for not injecting enough money into its armed forces, in line with the commitments it made to modernise its army.
Head of the Force Planning Section of the Defence Policy and Force Planning Directorate of NATO, Frank Boland, puts the slow progress made down to a thin military budget since 2007.
Boland, who has been visiting Slovakia for the past week, called on military and political heads to do something about it quickly. He complained that Slovakia was originally supposed to contribute 2% of its GDP to the defence sector, but this was cut to 1.6% on request. He says defence spending is around a mere 1 % just now, which in his words is too little.
It wasn’t all criticism, though, as Boland commended the Ministry of Defence for making a strategic assessment of the situation in the defence sector. Boland also said that NATO was ready to offer a helping hand to resolve the issue.
Defence minister Lubomir Galko blamed his predecessors for the terrible state in which he had inherited the defence sector.