Hodmezoevasarhely, Hungary, Dec 9 (CTK special correspondent) – The Czech Republic might help Macedonia manage the migrant crisis by sending a police contingent there, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) said during his visit to a Czech unit in Hungary yesterday.
The Czechs help the Hungarian military cope with the migrant crisis.
Representatives of the Visegrad Four Group (V4) or the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia will discuss the aid to Macedonia in Prague next week.
Czech soldiers have served in Hungary since mid-October. They officially participate in a military exercise and they will return home next week.
The Czech soldiers arrived at the Hodmezoevasarhely base after Budapest finished the construction of a fence along the border with Serbia, which halted the migrant wave and diverted it away from Hungary.
Stropnicky appreciated Hungary´s effort to protect the Schengen border.
“They take serious efforts to protect their section of Schengen. Their success in this respect is in the vital interest of the Czech Republic,” Stropnicky said.
This is the only way to defend the free movement of people inside the Schengen area, he added.
Hungarian Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko praised the help of the Czechs and also of Slovaks, as there are also Slovak soldiers at the base.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed, and we have found our friend now,” he said.
Although the migrant wave calmed down in Hungary in the past weeks, Stropnicky did not rule out that the Czech military would send help to Hungary again if the migration situation worsened.
“It will depend on how the situation will develop,” Stropnicky said, adding, however, that the sending in of further Czech troops in “not in the offing.”
Czech soldiers brought lorries, an engineering machine and field kitchens to Hungary.
The lorry drivers mainly transport supplies to Hungarians, while the driver of the engineering vehicle helps build a training centre, which should simulate conditions on the border as much as possible.
Some 20 Czech soldiers have transported over 1,500 tonnes of materiel and covered 38,500 kilometres in Hungary.
The sappers from Bechyne, south Bohemia, and Olomouc, north Moravia, have been deployed about 40 km away of the Serbian border since mid-October.
A Czech military cook instructed Hungarian troops to prepare meals in Czech field kitchens in the first week. Since then, they have cooked some 7,500 meals there. At present, the kitchens are placed at the Hodmezoevasarhely base.
Hungarian soldiers reportedly praised the Czech field kitchens, which, they said, were of a great help to them.
Stropnicky is yet to visit a Czech unit in Slovenia yesterday.
Simicsko said the V4 countries have received a request for help from Macedonia, which, too, tackles the migrant wave.
Confirming the information, Stropnicky said Prague, in its first reaction to Skopje´s request, pondered to send in a police unit.