Slovakia approves defense military treaty with US

Feb 9, 2022, 4:39 AM | Updated: 1:21 pm

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s parliament and president on Wednesday approved a defense military treaty with the United States.

The Defense Cooperation Agreement passed 79-60 in the 150-seat legislature in a vote split between lawmakers from the four-party ruling coalition and the opposition.

The treaty allows the U.S. military to use two Slovak air force bases — Malacky-Kuchyna and Sliac — for 10 years while Slovakia — a NATO member like the U.S. — will receive $100 million from the U.S. to modernize them.

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

The parliament vote took place amid fears that Russia will invade Ukraine. Moscow has massed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but insists it has no plans to attack. The European Union nation of Slovakia borders Ukraine.

The treaty was backed by the government of Prime Minister Eduard Heger, who said it will “significantly enhance our security.” But the agreement was fiercely opposed by the opposition, which claims it compromises the country’s sovereignty, makes possible a permanent presence of U.S. troops on Slovak territory and even enables a possible deployment of nuclear weapons in Slovakia.

The Slovak and U.S. governments have rejected those charges.

“Nothing in today’s agreement creates permanent U.S. bases or troop presence in Slovakia, and the agreement fully respects Slovakia’s sovereignty and laws,” Blinken said during last week’s signing ceremony at the U.S. State Department.

Thousands rallied Tuesday against the agreement in front of the parliament building in the capital of Bratislava when lawmakers were debating it.

The U.S. has such agreements with 23 other NATO members, including Poland and Hungary, two other countries that border Ukraine on the eastern flank of the alliance.

Any particular deployment of U.S. forces still needs approval by the Slovak government and parliament.

___

Follow all AP stories on tensions over Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An elderly woman wearing a mask pushes her wheelchair past residents lined up for coronavirus testi...
Associated Press

Beijing mandates COVID vaccines to enter some public spaces

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The Chinese capital has issued a mandate requiring people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they can enter some public spaces including gyms, museums and libraries, with exceptions only available to those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. The health app that shows a person’s latest PCR test results […]
1 hour ago
FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA ...
Associated Press

Griner’s Moscow trial resumes amid calls for US to seek deal

MOSCOW (AP) — Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner returns to a Russian court on Thursday amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release nearly five months after she was arrested on drug charges. Griner was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after vape canisters with cannabis […]
1 hour ago
In this photo taken with low shutter speed, Muslim pilgrims pray as others circumambulate around th...
Associated Press

A hajj closer to normal: 1 million Muslims begin pilgrimage

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — It is a scene that stirs hope — and relief — for Muslims around the world. One million pilgrims from across the globe amassed on Thursday in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the initial rites of the hajj, marking the largest Islamic pilgrimage since the […]
1 hour ago
Workers wearing protective gear direct arriving passengers to quarantine hotels in the Hong Kong In...
Associated Press

Hong Kong lifts flight ban citing ‘little effect’ on COVID

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong announced Thursday it is shelving a COVID-19 measure that has resulted in dozens of canceled flights in recent months and thwarted travel plans for thousands. Starting Thursday, the city will no longer ban arriving airline flights just because they’d brought in passengers infected with COVID-19, the government announced. “The […]
1 day ago
FILE - Lawyer Bernard Collaery, left, addresses the media as lawmaker Andrew Wilkie, right, looks o...
Associated Press

Australia drops charge against lawyer over spying claim

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s new government on Thursday dropped the 4-year-old prosecution of a lawyer over his alleged attempt to help East Timor prove that Australia had spied on the then-fledgling nation’s government in 2004 during multibillion-dollar oil and gas negotiations. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus maintained the longstanding government stance of refusing to confirm or […]
1 day ago
FILE - Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis arrives at 10 Downing Street, to attend a...
Associated Press

UK’s Johnson defiant even as opponents tell him time is up

LONDON (AP) — British Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign, just 36 hours after Johnson put him in the job, while another newly appointed Cabinet minister quit her job. Zahawi said Johnson knew “the right thing to do” was to “go now.” Zahawi was appointed late Tuesday to […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Slovakia approves defense military treaty with US