President Caputova Ratifies Defence Cooperation Agreement with USA
Bratislava, February 9 (TASR) – President Zuzana Caputova ratified the Slovak-US Defence Cooperation Agreement on Wednesday, TASR was told by her spokesman Martin Strizinec on the same day.
“The interpretation clause I attached to the negotiated text of the treaty is part of the ratification document and is therefore a binding interpretation of the treaty also for future generations of politicians in its application. This clause, together with the other party’s clause, confirm that Slovakia and the United States interpret the text of the treaty in agreement and that there is no rational reason to suspect other ulterior motives here,” said the head of state.
The president stressed that the text of the agreement, which was approved by Parliament on Wednesday, was negotiated by the former and current governments. “Today, all the conditions for the entry into force of the Defence Cooperation Agreement by the Slovak Republic have been met, as 23 other Alliance member states had done without losing sovereignty before us. Including all our neighbours on the Alliance’s border, including Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states,” she said.
Caputova pointed out that the adoption of this treaty was accompanied by the spread of misinformation but also by natural concerns that needed to be explained. However, according to her, it is a misunderstanding of the facts if someone compares it to the occupation treaty following 1968, when Soviet troops carried out a violent military invasion of our territory.
“It is a disrespect for the victims of the 1968 invasion to compare the DCA that was negotiated for several years and approved by a legitimately appointed government and elected representatives in Parliament, with a formal treaty signed under the barrels of the occupation tanks. The comparison is absurd even with the alleged loss of jurisdiction, as the soldiers who killed more than a hundred of our citizens in Czechoslovakia at the time were never tried either in Czechoslovakia or in the home countries of the Warsaw Pact troops,” said the president.
According to her, the treaty doesn’t undermine our sovereignty, doesn’t establish the presence of foreign soldiers or bases in our territory without a decision of the Government or Parliament, as it’s been the case to date, and doesn’t change Slovakia’s current international obligations regarding possession of nuclear weapons.
The agreement was approved by Parliament earlier on Wednesday. Of the 140 MPs present, the document was supported by 79, while 60 voted against. The DCA is designed to allow the US Armed Forces to make use of Slovak military bases in Malacky-Kuchyna and Sliac and any other agreed facilities free of charge. The document should be valid for ten years. After this period, it could remain valid or be terminated with one year’s notice.