Slovak government approves defense treaty with US, but critics slam agreement as threat to Slovakia’s sovereignty

Soldiers march during a military parade marking 100th anniversary of the 1918 creation of the Czechoslovak state in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By Karolina Klaskova
2 Min Read

On Wednesday, the Slovak government, led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities), approved a defense treaty with the United States, but the country’s opposition and General Prosecution say the agreement threatens the country’s sovereignty.

Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok (Freedom and Solidarity) said that the government had approved the agreement unanimously. The treaty with the U.S. has yet to be approved by the Slovak parliament and subsequently ratified by President Zuzana Čaputová. It should be valid for ten years with a one-year notice period.

Under the agreement, the Americans could use some military airports, while Slovakia would receive over $100 million for its modernization.

The Minister of Defense Jaroslav Naď (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities) claims that this is a standard international agreement that fully respects the sovereignty of Slovakia and that similar arrangements have been concluded with the U.S. by Hungary and Poland, for example.

Robert Fico, chairman of the opposition party Direction-Slovak Social Democracy, now claims that the agreement with the U.S. is disadvantageous for Slovaks and is contrary to the country’s sovereignty.

“This draft agreement is absolutely disadvantageous for Slovakia. The proposed wording contradicts the concept of state sovereignty in every single article, and I will ask my colleagues in the parliamentary group not to support this type of agreement,” Fico said.

Fico claims that the agreement with the U.S. will take precedence over Slovak law. According to him, the Slovak authorities will gain limited control and other powers over American soldiers.

The Slovak General Prosecutor’s Office also opposed the agreement with the U.S., with the treaty said to be unbalanced in favor of the military superpower. According to the prosecutor’s office, the agreement should stipulate that American soldiers may not enter Slovakia with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

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