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Work, Slovakian Defense Minister Review Bilateral Relationship

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WASHINGTON, December 9, 2015 — Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work met today at the Pentagon with Defense Minister Martin Glvac of Slovakia.

Work and Glvac reviewed the U.S.-Slovak bilateral defense relationship and discussed Slovakia's modernization efforts, opportunities to increase U.S.-Slovak security cooperation, the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Russia's aggressive behavior in Ukraine, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a spokeswoman for Work, said in a statement summarizing the meeting.

Work praised Slovakia for its contributions to NATO and international security and applauded its defense modernization program, Hillson said.

“The leaders exchanged insights on sustaining and modernizing military capabilities in fiscally constrained times and noted the strategic, operational, and tactical benefits of defense cooperation for both nations,” she added. “Minister Glvac assured the deputy secretary that Slovakia is committed to allocating 20 percent of the defense budget for modernization and spending 1.6 percent of [gross domestic product] on defense by 2020.”

Defense Modernization Plan

Work pledged support of Slovakia's defense modernization plan, Hillson said, including its recent procurement of U.S.-made helicopters to increase NATO interoperability and its efforts to reduce dependence on Russian equipment.

“On Ukraine, the two leaders emphasized that the U.S. and Slovakia should continue to present a united front with NATO to deal with Russia's aggressive behavior in the region,” Hillson said. “Work thanked Glvac for the support that Slovakia is providing to support Ukraine's security, to include military training and humanitarian aid.”

Work also thanked Glvac for Slovakia's continued cooperation, bilaterally and multilaterally, in a changing European and international security environment, Hillson said.