During a meeting in Prague, defense ministers of the V4 groV4up concluded that the armies of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland proved to be instrumental during the recent coronavirus epidemic. They warned that it would be a mistake to reduce military spending with regard to the economic impact of the virus.
“The Hungarian government’s position is clear: the coronavirus epidemic will not impact development of the Hungarian military,” Defense Minister Tibor Benkő told a joint press conference held after the meeting.
According to MTI, participants in the meeting agreed that they would continue a joint project aimed at ammunitions purchases through a NATO agency, Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar, the host of the meeting, said. “Cooperation within the V4, including providing assistance to one another, was working well during the epidemic,” Metnar said.
The ministers touched upon the Visegrad countries’ planned Battlegroup, to be set up by 2023, and to which each country could contribute 300-600 troops. Participants also agreed to make changes to a strategy concerning the Visegrad Group’s defense development cooperation to meet new challenges. “An army needs up-to-date capabilities to meet challenges at any time,” Benkő said, but added that defence research and development must be coupled with maintaining traditional capacities.
Benkő also welcomed Visegrad plans to broaden their cooperation with countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Photo credit: Lokál