Press Releases

5. 5. 200814:45

May 5, 2008: NATO To Participate in the Anti-Missile Shield in Europe

The US anti-missile system can be integrated into the NATO countries´ defence and will protect all the members of the Alliance. That is one of the conclusions of today’s meeting between Czech Premier Mirek Topolánek and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. "As the US anti-missile defence system becomes part of the alliance architecture, we shall achieve an efficient interlinking of the defence systems. And more than that. NATO has proved its unity, proved its foresight and strategic thinking, it has proved its will to defence. It has proved its viability," says Premier Mirek Topolánek.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer hopes that further discussions on the defence of the member countries will follow. “Anti-missile defence is important. If we agree that a threat exists, then it is necessary to defend the citizens of the Alliance,“ Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a press conference after his meeting with the Czech Premier.

Other subjects discussed at the meeting of the Czech Premier and the NATO Secretary-General included the issue of financing the Czech Army, foreign mission in Afghanistan or the recognition of Kosovo. Both sides agreed it was impossible to proceed to a reform of the army without a sufficiently high budget, and that is why the Government should raise its funding of the defence sector. The NATO Secretary- General also stressed the importance of continuing the common defence of Afghanistan or approaching the issue of recognition of Kosovo in a critical manner. In addition to their talks in the Strakova Academy (seat of the Czech Government) Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also attended the opening part of the international conference “Anti-missile Defence After the Bucharest Summit: European and American Perspectives“, held in Prague’s Černíň Palace. In his speech, Premier Mirek Topolánek described the need of protecting the civilian population against a mass attack as a clear-cut and comprehensible aim of anti-missile defence. (His entire speech is available on the web pages of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic – www.vlada.cz.)

Jana Bartošová, press spokesperson of the Government of the Czech Republic