The Czech government is sending two experts to the NATO Liaison Office in Kiev to advise the Ukrainian government on a reform of the security sector and on logistics, the news agency ČTK reported. The posting should last two years, the Czech defence and interior ministries said. An expert on information security from the Czech Interior Ministry is already operating in the Ukrainian capital.
Over 700 Czech soldiers are due to take part in the multinational military exercise Saber Junction 2014 at the training grounds in Hohenfels, Germany starting on Sunday. The ten-day exercise will bring together close to 6,000 servicemen from 17 NATO-member countries for a wide range of military operations. During theoretical and practical training soldiers develop skills in tactics, logistics, intelligence, evidence collection and other areas.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, discussed a NATO summit planned for next month with the country’s minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, and minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, at his Lány summer residence near Prague on Saturday. All three will be attending the conference in Wales on September 4 and 5. Mr. Stropnický told reporters that the main aim of Saturday’s meeting was to ensure the Czech delegation spoke with one voice at the summit, which is expected to discuss NATO’s future and financing, as well as the situations in Ukraine and Iraq.
Some 1400 soldiers from the Czech Republic and 11 other NATO allies including Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, and the US, will take part in international military air training in the Czech Republic in September. Thirty airplanes and helicopters, including Gripen and F-16 fighter jets, as well as 50 ground military vehicles will be used in the training. Ample Strike 2014 will be similar to previous operations such as Flying Rhino, but for the first time it will be held under the auspices of the Czech Army. It will take place from September 3 to 15.
The US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norman Eisen, is set to leave Prague later this month, after three and a half years in office. In our special programme, Ambassador Eisen discusses the state of the Czech-US relations, his involvement in Czech anti-corruption battle and human rights efforts, as well as his personal reflections of his time in Prague. I sat down with Norman Eisen at the US ambassador’s residence, and first asked him what he thought his biggest accomplishments were.
The Czech government has approved the candidature of the chief of staff of the Czech Army, Petr Pavel, for the post of chairman of NATO’s Military Committee. Speaking after a cabinet meeting on Monday night, the Czech minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, said General Pavel had a “very solid chance” of obtaining the position, which is second only to the secretary general in the NATO hierarchy. For his part, the general said if he wins the post in a vote in mid September it will be a great honour for the Czech Republic and an expression of trust on the part of the country’s allies.
Czech President Miloš Zeman said on Tuesday that membership in the EU and NATO were guarantees of security for the Czech Republic even as conflict elsewhere in Europe continued; speaking at the Vítkov Memorial in Prague, he warned that hotbeds of war could spread and said that peace was not something guaranteed forever, but needed to be fought for. Mr Zeman made the statements on the occasion the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I. In his speech, he noted the present-day participation of Czech troops in foreign missions and mentioned conflicts in Mali, Afghanistan and Ukraine. The ceremony, paying respect to those who laid down their lives in the First World War, was attended by former president Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka as well as members of the current government and diplomats.
Attending Ground Forces’ Day at the military training ground in Strašice, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka pledged to increase defence spending, saying the government should earmark 43.5 billion crowns for military spending in 2015 and gradually raise the sum is subsequent years. The Czech Republic has cut its military spending in recent years and at present spends just over 1 percent of the equivalent of its GDP on defence. This falls short of the 2 percent target set by NATO. According to the army chief-of-staff, Petr Pavel, the military would need at least 50 billion crowns a year to fulfil its commitments to the alliance.
The head of the smallest party in government, the Christian Democrats, has criticised Social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for saying the Czech Republic would not be calling for more NATO troops in Europe. The premier made the comment following US President Barack Obama’s pledge in Warsaw to put an extra one billion US dollars into defence in Eastern Europe.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague
Veronika Čáslavová: sex trafficking still a taboo topic in Czechia