New deal will let US forces use two Slovakian air bases for a decade

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia’s parliament and president on Wednesday permitted a protection navy treaty with the USA.

The Protection Cooperation Settlement handed 79-60 within the 150-seat legislature in a vote cut up between lawmakers from the four-party ruling coalition and the opposition.

The treaty permits the U.S. navy to make use of two Slovak air pressure bases — Malacky-Kuchyna and Sliac — for 10 years whereas Slovakia — a NATO member just like the U.S. — will obtain $100 million from the U.S. to modernize them.

The deal was signed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Slovakia’s protection minister, Jaroslav Nad, on Feb. 3 in Washington. It was ratified by President Zuzana Caputova on Wednesday.

The parliament vote came about amid fears that Russia will invade Ukraine. Moscow has massed greater than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine’s borders, however insists it has no plans to assault. The European Union nation of Slovakia borders Ukraine.

The treaty was backed by the federal government of Prime Minister Eduard Heger, who stated it’ll “considerably improve our safety.” However the settlement was fiercely opposed by the opposition, which claims it compromises the nation’s sovereignty, makes doable a everlasting presence of U.S. troops on Slovak territory and even allows a doable deployment of nuclear weapons in Slovakia.

The Slovak and U.S. governments have rejected these costs.

“Nothing in at this time’s settlement creates everlasting U.S. bases or troop presence in Slovakia, and the settlement totally respects Slovakia’s sovereignty and legal guidelines,” Blinken stated throughout final week’s signing ceremony on the U.S. State Division.

1000’s rallied Tuesday in opposition to the settlement in entrance of the parliament constructing within the capital of Bratislava when lawmakers had been debating it.

The U.S. has such agreements with 23 different NATO members, together with Poland and Hungary, two different nations that border Ukraine on the japanese flank of the alliance.

Any specific deployment of U.S. forces nonetheless wants approval by the Slovak authorities and parliament.