Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) – The Czech government approved Monday the sending of up to 50 soldiers, including engineering and health officers, to help Slovenia with border protection, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) said after the cabinet meeting Monday.

The soldiers will depart for Slovenia in mid-November.

The costs of their month-long mission will be four million crowns, Stropnicky said.

He said Prague offered the help on its own initiative without waiting until it is addressed by Brussels or Slovenia.

In the past days, Prague and Ljubljana discussed Slovenia´s needs in this respect.

Stropnicky said the equipment the Czech troops will take to Slovenia is similar to that of the Czech troops who have been helping with border protection in Hungary since mid-October. It mainly includes lorries and engineering equipment, he said.

The soldiers going to Slovenia will also include a medical unit, he said.

Apart from the soldiers, 20 Czech police officers will leave for Slovenia for a several-week mission within a week. They are to return by Christmas.

The Slovenian border has recently been under a strong pressure of refugees who head westwards. They prefer Slovenia as a transit country now that Hungary closed its borders with Serbia and Croatia.