Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and his Hungarian counterpart Tibor Benko in Brussels on Thursday signed a letter to NATO's Secretary-General expressing their wish for the Multinational Division Command Centre (MND-C) to be included in the NATO structure, the Croatian Defence Ministry said in a press release.
The two ministers signed a letter of intent to establish the MND-C in Budapest in April. It was an expression of the will of the two neighbouring countries to establish together a multinational division command in central Europe and for it to become an integral part of the NATO structure.
The letter signed by Krsticevic and Benko on the margins of a meeting of NATO defence ministers is an initial step that should make it possible for Allied Command Operations to initiate the required procedure for acceptance of this proposal. A final decision rests with the North Atlantic Council.
"This is important for Croatia, because this Command would strengthen security in central Europe as well as our national security," Krsticevic said.
The plan is to reach the initial operating capability of the MND-C in 2020 and the full operating capability in 2022. The close proximity of the two countries should reduce costs of training, the Command would help strengthen economic cooperation, particularly in the defence sector, and it would also be possible to use the MND-C for EU operations and missions, the press release said.