Press Advisories

11. 3. 2019 18:18

The Prime Minister and Minister of Defence attended in Warsaw the celebrations of the anniversary of the Visegrad countries’ accession to NATO

Group photo of prime ministers, 10. March 2019.
Group photo of prime ministers, 10. March 2019.
On 10 March 2019, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar, along with their counterparts from the Visegrad Group, attended the ceremonial commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the 15th anniversary of Slovakia’s accession.

At the invitation of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Andrej Babiš and Lubomír Metnar, together with the Prime Ministers and Defence Ministers of the Visegrad Group, attended the event commemorating the Visegrad countries’ accession to NATO in the Warsaw’s Wesołe.

At the ceremony in the military grounds of the Warsaw 1st Tank Brigade Wesoła, the attendees heard the anthems of NATO and the Visegrad Group countries. In his speech the Czech Prime Minister mentioned that the Czech Republic will continue to be a strong and reliable ally ready to actively participate in ensuring the security of its allies and partners of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Andrej Babiš also highlighted the fact that during the past twenty years of the Czech Republic’s NATO membership, Czech soldiers have earned the respect of the allies and contributed significantly to the spread of the Czech Republic’s good reputation in the world.

Since our accession, we have been active in NATO, we have never been free riders. Our soldiers have been in NATO’s mission in Afghanistan for sixteen years, we have done a lot of work there and we have had many fallen people, who I personally respect very much. Every day we prove that we are not just relying on someone to protect us, but that we also understand NATO membership as our active responsibility and shared responsibility for others. We take the commitment of collective defence very seriously, and we would never question it”, said the Prime Minister in his speech.

There are currently almost nine hundred Czech soldiers in foreign missions. Of these, a significant part is stationed in Afghanistan, where the Czech Republic has long been one of the largest contributors to the Resolute Support mission.

The attendees then watched a military parade and a demonstration of NATO troops in Poland. The Czech Prime Minister also had the opportunity to meet informally with the soldiers who carry out their mission in Poland, and with the prime ministers of V4 countries. “We discussed a lot of topics. First, I informed the Prime Ministers of my trip to the United States, which opened a very specific issue, namely to invite Commissioner Malmström before the next European Council to inform us about the negotiations with the US. We want to know what a tactic is because it concerns us. Together we are one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe. We also exchanged information about our purchases within NATO. We saw a tactical demonstration of military exercise. We also shared out views on Brexit. It was a pleasant working meeting before the European Council, which will be on 21 and 22 March”, said Andrej Babiš.


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