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“Battlegroup” for Visegrád Four in 2016

History

The prime ministers of the Visegrád Four group (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia) who met this week in Budapest have agreed on the formation of a “battlegroup” for regional defense as of 2016. The force will consist of approximately 3,000 troops from the nations and aims to be fully deployable within 10 days of distances up to 6,000 kilometers from Brussels.

Czech media reports that Poland will supply 1,300 to 1,600 troops, with 800 from the Czech Republic, and Hungary and Slovakia each contributing 350 to 400 soldiers. These latter two nations will be tasked with counter-terrorism and defense activities, while the Czech Republic will supply medical and logistics support for the new unit. A joint defense strategy for and annual military training of the unit will be done jointly.

The creation of the “battlegroup” was explained as a cost-cutting effort by the Visegrád Four countries to combine military resources for common defense of the EU. As Prime Minister Viktor Orbán explained after the round of talks, “The [Visegrád Four] countries realize that circumstances today are not inclined toward increasing military budgets. There is a need for efficient and more harmonized spending.”

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