The Government on Wednesday approved the conclusion of the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Slovakia and the USA. The agreement, however, still has to be greenlighted by Parliament and then ratified by the president.
If ratified, the DCA would allow the US Armed Forces to make use of Slovak airbases in Malacky-Kuchyna (Bratislava region) and Sliac (Banska Bystrica region), or any other agreed facilities.
The document would be valid for ten years. After this period, it could remain valid or be terminated with one year's notice.
US forces could use the agreed facilities for training, exercises, manoeuvres, transit, personnel accommodation and deployment of forces, for instance. The conclusion of the agreement would also allow Washington to transport, deploy and store defence equipment, supplies and materiel at agreed facilities and premises. Slovakia would be informed regarding both deliveries and deliverers in advance.
By signing the agreement, Slovakia would waive its right to exercise criminal jurisdiction over members of the US Armed Forces although for specific crimes of particular importance to Slovakia, the Slovak authorities would be allowed to revoke the waiver. At the same time, the USA must inform the Slovak authorities of all crimes committed by US Armed Force members, except those punishable by a fine or imprisonment of less than three years.
Slovakia would have to immediately inform the US military authorities of the arrest or detention of a US soldier. The US authorities, in coordination with their Slovak counterparts, would have immediate access to any such person whenever requested.
The DCA is intended to strengthen military cooperation between Slovakia and the USA. Both Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) and Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok (an SaS nominee) declared that it fully respects Slovakia’s sovereignty, denying that it would serve as a prerequisite for a permanent presence of the US Armed Forces on the territory of the country. The agreement will also allow Slovakia to draw funds for its military infrastructure. In the first phase, the funds should reach approximately $100 million dollars.
Any infrastructure constructed thanks to the US funds would remain the property of Slovakia. The US Armed Forces would be allowed to use it for as long as they need it.