Slovak government approves defence treaty with United States

  • World
  • Wednesday, 12 Jan 2022

Slovakia's Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU foreign ministers meeting at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium May 10, 2021. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovakia's government has approved a defence agreement with the United States, setting the framework for potential use of its air bases by its NATO partner but not leading to any concrete deployments, ministers said on Wednesday.

The agreement, which the Slovak government said follows similar treaties by 23 other NATO countries including all those on the alliance's eastern border, still needs the president's signature and ratification by the country's parliament.

"This is an important sign that the government is acting responsibly in foreign, security and defence policies," Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok told a news conference.

Under the agreement, the United States would be able to use facilities at two Slovak airports at Sliac and Malacky, while any concrete plans would be subject to follow-up agreements. Slovakia would qualify for $100 million in U.S. funds.

Korcok told reporters that the debate about the agreement had been filled with misinformation. Any future potential presence of any troops would be subject to approval by the government and parliament, he said.

Slovakia shares its eastern border with Ukraine, at the centre of tensions between NATO and Russia for the last few years.

Russia seized the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbass region since then in a war that has killed some 15,000 people. In recent months, Russia has amassed troops near its border with Ukraine.

Slovakia's plans to sign the DCA agreement came under criticism from the country's opposition, which had earlier participated in preparing the deal when it was in government. Former Prime Minister Robert Fico said his Smer party would not back it in parliament and wanted a referendum on the issue.

The country's prosecutor general has also criticised it, citing legal grounds, but the ministers said that the agreement was in line with existing Slovak law.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Ukraine nuclear inspectorate accuses IAEA of falling for Russian propaganda
Very important that Turkey's issues with Finland's NATO membership be resolved before Madrid summit -Finnish FM
Some U.S. universities, schools reimposing indoor mask mandates: report
G7 countries say strict environmental rules needed for deep-sea mining
Sandy Hook parents lambast U.S. gun violence inaction: The Guardian
8 killed in east China landslides
UK PM Johnson faces new call to resign over 'partygate'
Nigeria issues measures to prevent possible spread of monkeypox
New York City to add Asian American history to public school curriculum
China-built road creates good fortune for Malagasy poultry farmers

Others Also Read