Meeting of V4 CHODs in Hungary
The top military leaders of the Visegrád Four Group – Hungarian CHOD LTG Tibor Benkő, Czech CHOD Gen. Vlastimil Picek, Slovak CHOD Gen. L’ubomír Bulik and Polish CHOD Admiral Tomasz Mathea – as well as Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine Vice-Admiral Igor V. Kabanenko met on June 21-22 in Balatonőszöd, Hungary. They reviewed the results achieved during the Hungarian presidency, then the Deputy CHOD of the Ukrainian Armed Forces joined the discussion on the second day to hold talks about the topical issues of the ongoing cooperation between the V4 countries and the Ukraine.
At the meeting the V4 CHODs agreed that cooperation among the four countries has progressed under the Hungarian presidency, which they consider the greatest achievement. Cooperation in the future must be carried on in several fields of the military including training, information sharing and exchange of experience about the defence reform, the EU presidency and the mutual support in NATO- and EU-led multinational units.
The military professional feasibility study on the establishment of a V4 EU Battle Group includes an assessment with which the CHODs concur, according to which the V4 EU Battle Group is a viable project with respect to its military and technological aspects but requires appropriate political decisions as well as MoUs on steady and permanent financing. The designation of the framework nations (lead nations) for the V4 EU Battle Group is also crucial to further development. Hungary continues to take responsibility for the EU Battle Group project until the specification of the framework nations.
NATO’s new Strategic Concept must find a balance between the unaltered financing processes and the pressing need for permanent transformation, which arises from the changes in the security environment and the contemporary challenges. At the same time, the SC must provide guidelines for the whole of the Alliance and each of its member states on how to best contribute to increasing NATO’s credibility and effectiveness. We need clear political guidance for identifying the new directions of capability development. We also need to be firmly committed to facilitate cost-effective spending by drawing on the wide spectrum of available means of efficiency and reform.
All four CHODs exchanged information on the ongoing military operations. They concluded that all of them are making efforts to assist NATO and the EU in the interest of strengthening international security. The V4 nations carry a great burden, so we must do our best to find cost-effective solutions in further operational cooperation, to identify the ways of ‘reasonable spending’ and to increase operational effectiveness.
The multinational capability development (MNCADE) program is a cost-effective means of increasing military capabilities that goes a long way towards improving the interoperability of the participating nations and helps providing logistic support for the jointly developed or produced/procured hardware. The talks aimed at finding ways of implementing potential MNCADE programs within the V4 framework of cooperation, so that future efforts should take account of these projects.
The Deputy CHOD of the Ukraine informed the V4 CHODs about the current issues relating to his country’s defence policy and the plans for developing cooperation with the V4 countries. The V4 CHODs reaffirmed that the countries of the Visegrád Four are committed to supporting the Armed Forces of the Ukraine on their way towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
At the end of the meeting LTG Tibor Benkő handed over the rotating presidency of the Visegrád Four Group to Slovak CHOD Gen. L’ubomír Bulik for a one-year period.