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Gov’t debates possible use of soldiers in border protection

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Prague, Aug 20 (CTK) – The Czech cabinet discussed yesterday a possible deployment of up to 2,600 soldiers in protecting the state border against illegal migrants, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told journalists.
In the case of need and depending on circumstances, the police along the border could be reinforced by 900, 1,500 or 2,600 soldiers, he said.
Also in reaction to the migration wave, the cabinet approved an increase in the Interior Ministry’s budget for 2015 by 140 million crowns.
The money would be used to employ 300 new police officers, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said previously.
Stropnicky informed the cabinet about possible variants of the protection of the border by the military.
“It the government decided that it is necessary to reinforce the police in border protection, the military is ready to deploy soldiers as well as technical reconnaissance and monitoring means,” he said.
The military can provide up to 1,500 soldiers without this step having any strong impact on [the fulfilment of] its main tasks, Stropnicky said.
“If the police asked for more support, the military could provide 2,600 soldiers at the most, which, however, would largely influence the planned training and the fulfilment of some international commitments,” Stropnicky said.
The Defence Ministry said the military is ready to use the reconnaissance and monitoring set SNEZKA, the light observation system LOS, the IVECO personnel vehicles and the artillery observation set KLARA within the border protection.
According to the media, the Czech military is considering also deploying reserve soldiers along the border.
The General Staff, nevertheless, said it has not been mobilising the active reserve’s members over the migration wave.
($1=24.475 crowns)
rtj/dr/kva

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