Bratislava/Prague, April 21 (CTK) – A strong U.S. military convoy will cross the Czech Republic and Slovakia in June and July on its way to an allied exercise in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos told journalists Friday.
He said he is releasing the information about the military transit early in order to prevent the public’s possible speculations.
Last year, a similar ride of U.S. units from Germany eastwards met with positive and negative reactions of their fans and their opponents, respectively, and with various speculations on social networks in Slovakia as well as the Czech Republic.
The U.S. soldiers will take part in one of NATO’s biggest exercises this year, Saber Guardian 2017, in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. It will involve some 25,000 troops.
Their return from the exercise is scheduled for August.
The U.S. convoy, including tanks and other combat equipment, will be divided into several smaller units on its way across Central Europe.
Slovakia has promised to provide logistic support to the U.S. soldiers, such as fuelling and accommodation of the soldiers, if needed.
The Czech Defence Ministry confirmed to CTK that the convoy would cross the Czech Republic.
“Details are being tuned up now. We will inform the Czech public in time like in the case of the previous transfers,” Vladimir Lukovsky, from the Defence Ministry’s press section, added.
“Several hundreds of pieces of military hardware… and members of the U.S. military will be crossing Slovakia. We want to convey the information to the public in order to prevent disinformation such as that we are planning an attack,” Gajdos said.
Gajdos said Slovakia is prepared for possible protests against the convoy and that its transit will be supervised by the police.