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Slovak, Czech ministers sign joint sky protection implementation

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Bratislava, Jan 5 (CTK) – A document on the implementation of a previously agreed-upon Czech-Slovak cooperation on mutual airspace protection was signed by Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos and his Czech counterpart Karla Slechtova in Bratislava on Friday.

Slechtova is a part of the delegation accompanying Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on a visit to Slovakia, his first bilateral foreign trip in his capacity as the head of the government, after his participation in the December EU summit.

The agreement enables Czech and Slovak pilots to intervene, also using weapons, in the other country’s territory in emergency situations.

Such assistance would be possible if, for example, terrorists hijacked a civilian plan and were going to use it in an attack.

The agreement also supposes mutual Czech-Slovak help in case one of the countries were unable to ensure their sky protection.

The document signed on Friday sets details of the system’s implementation.

Gajdos and Slechtova said it is no obstacle to the joint sky cooperation that the two countries each use a different type of fighter aircraft.

“As to the fact that the Czech Republic has Gripens and Slovakia has Migs…, I have been assured that this poses no problem,” Slechtova said.

Czech and Slovak cooperation in the airspace protection will be broader than members’ cooperation within the NATO joint anti-aircraft defence system.

The two ministers also discussed possible cooperation of Czech and Slovak armament companies on modernising the two countries’ armies.

“I also expect cooperation between Czech and Slovak companies. This is one of my priorities,” Slechtova said.

She said both the Czech and Slovak governments have embedded support for their respective domestic armament industry in their policy statements, but she voiced support for Prague’s cooperation with Slovakia and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

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