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Czech gov’t pledges to spend 1.4% on defence only in 2021

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Prague, May 11 (CTK) – The policy statement of the planned government of the ANO movement and the Social Democrats (CSSD) expects the Czech defence budget to reach 1.4 percent of GDP only in 2021 when its term ends, while the previous government of these two parties promised that this would happen in 2020.

The Czech Republic promised its allies in NATO to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence by 2024. To achieve this, the defence budget would have to grow more steeply in 2022-24.

This year, 1.13 percent of GDP are to go to defence and next year this is to increase to 1.22 percent. The Czech defence budget is 59 billion crowns now, while in 2024 it is to be approximately 127 billion crowns.

The nascent government wants to have a well-prepared plan of military acquisitions for the next several years.

It also pledges to keep sending Czech soldiers to NATO, UN or EU peace-keeping missions. The number of Czech soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq should increase.

The Communists (KSCM), who would keep the ANO and CSSD minority government afloat, oppose foreign missions that are not approved by the United Nations.

The equipment and gear of the Czech military should primarily be made by Czech firms. The professional army has about 24,000 troops at present and this number should reach at least 30,000 in 2025, according to the government policy statement.

The country plans to develop its capacity to fight hybrid threats like cyber attacks. At primary and secondary schools, civilian preparation for state defence will be taught within the curriculum.

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