The Slovak Republic will support Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression with 30 BVP-1 vehicles from its stocks, while it will receive 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks as compensation. This was announced today by The Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic Jaroslav Naď and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic Marian Majer after negotiations with the State Secretary of the Federal Republic of Germany, Benedikt Zimmer.
Officially, at the level of state secretaries, they also confirmed this by signing a declaration of intent, the so-called “Letter of Intent”. “This agreement will ensure that the Slovak Republic will be able to hand over 30 BVP-1 units to Ukraine in exchange for 15 pieces of Leopard 2 A4 tanks, which will be modified by the German defense industry to a full-fledged state. As part of this delivery, we will also receive ammunition, spare parts and comprehensive training. The infantry fighting vehicles that we will hand over to Ukraine are not directly in the structure of the OS SR, but in reserves, where they were intended for mobilization needs,” explained Minister J. Naď.
At the same time, the adoption of Leopard tanks will help Slovakia to create a full-fledged tank battalion for the needs of a heavy mechanized brigade in accordance with NATO requirements. Therefore, this technique will significantly strengthen the combat capability of the heavy mechanized brigade and thus the defenses of Slovakia. In addition, it will pave the way for new areas of cooperation between Slovakia and Germany. “Our bilateral cooperation is already excellent in various areas,” the minister said, thanking his German counterpart for the deployment of the Patriot air defence system and the participation of German soldiers in nato’s multinational battlegroup in Slovakia.
The quality of the cooperation was also appreciated by the German State Secretary, Benedikt Zimmer. “This is a very important day, and not only in terms of even closer cooperation, which goes beyond the topic of compensation for technology. This cooperation is very good and I am pleased that with today’s Letter of Intent agreement, we can really say that it will be even more extensive,” he said. At the same time, he thanked Slovakia for its intensive assistance to Ukraine from the very beginning of its defense against Russian aggression.
As stated by State Secretary of the Mo SR Marian Majer, negotiations with the German side on a possible replacement of technology included various alternatives, both tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. “That’s why perhaps not entirely correct information has emerged. However, the basic position of Slovakia is not to weaken the defenses of the Slovak Republic. Despite the fact that we want to help Ukraine to the maximum extent, not at the expense of our own defenses,” explained M. Majer. At the same time, he praised the approach of the German Defence Ministry for understanding this position.