Talking Europe interviews Rastislav Káčer, Slovakia's straight-talking minister for foreign and European affairs. Slovakia became the first NATO country to deliver warplanes to Ukraine, and Káčer discusses what difference that delivery could make, as well as Slovakia's plans to double its ammunition production. He also talks about his country's moves towards energy independence – Slovakia's nuclear industry, in particular, is still closely tied to Russia – and about Slovakia's sometimes complicated relationship with Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of neighbouring Hungary.
On ammunition production, Káčer says: "Slovakia is one of the countries in the EU – and there aren't too many of us – that has the capability to produce large-calibre ammunition. Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia, which was known in the past for substantial capacity in defence production. Slovakia was part of these heavier systems. We are good in large-calibre barrels for artillery, but also in large-calibre ammunition, such as 155mm, which is much in need. And now, within the EU's new ASAP programme (Act in Support of Ammunition Production, to help Ukraine), we are going to double our investment and double the production. Probably more than double the production."
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