Czechia Joined NATO 24 Years Ago

Together with Poland and Hungary, the Czech Republic joined NATO on March 12, 1999.

The admission of three former Eastern Bloc countries to the Alliance confirmed the definitive end of the Cold War in Europe.

The documents were signed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for the United States, by Foreign Minister Jan Kavan for the Czech Republic, by Foreign Minister János Martonyi for Hungary, and by Foreign Minister Bronisław Geremek for Poland.

It signaled further waves of NATO enlargement that brought stability, and for new members a freedom for their own social and economic development leading towards European integration.

It came less than a decade after the end of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and less than 8 years after the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact was formally dissolved on July 1, 1991.

Slovakia, the fourth member of the Visegrad Group, joined NATO in the fifth enlargement of the Alliance, on March 29, 2004, together with other Eastern European states (which have also been EU members for years now) – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia.

Exactly twenty-four years after the Czech flag was first flown at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, constitutional officials and members of the government and other important domestic and foreign guests gathered in Prague to commemorate the historic moment.

PM Petr Fiala described the entry of the Czech Republic into NATO as one of the most important events in the country’s modern history on Twitter, adding that NATO membership ensures Czechia’s security and that due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, it has become apparent how essential it is for the country to be part of the alliance.

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