Czech and Slovak Leaders Agree to Strengthen Defense Cooperation with Sweden

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his Slovak counterpart Ľudovít Ódor have agreed to strengthen defense cooperation with Sweden. At a meeting in Prague on July 5th, the two leaders discussed various issues, including illegal migration, the protection of the external border of the European Union, and the support of Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Fiala praised the improved cooperation between the Czech Republic and Slovakia regarding illegal migration, saying that it is the key to avoiding measures on the common borders. The two countries also agreed to use the discount clause when purchasing infantry fighting vehicles jointly. The first meeting with the Swedish side is scheduled for next week.

In May, through an intergovernmental agreement, the Czech government decided to buy 246 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (BVP CV90) from Sweden for 59.7 billion crowns.

The leaders also agreed to strengthen the protection of the external border of the European Union and improve the return policy. They also discussed Euro 7 standards and energy security.

During a joint press conference, Slovak Prime Minister Ódor said that the Czech Republic and Slovakia have open and friendly relations. He added that he feels at home in the Czech Republic.

Ódor took office in mid-May and met with Fiala for the first time at the end of May in Bratislava during the Globsec international security conference. Last week, the prime ministers of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries met in Bratislava, where Ódor, alongside Fiala, welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Over the weekend, the Czech Republic took over the one-year presidency of the V4 from Slovakia. During this time, the country aims to build on the efforts of the previous presidency to return to the roots of cooperation based on the principles of human rights, freedom, and democracy.

The V4 must also provide clear, firm, and specific support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, which has been facing a Russian invasion since last February.