The United States and Slovakia recently signed a bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement, which was approved by Slovakia’s parliament February 9.
At the signing ceremony in Washington attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korckok, and Slovak Defense Minister Jaoslav Nad’, Secretary Blinken noted the strong ties between the two countries, including people-to-people ties, with nearly 1 million people of Slovak descent living in the United States, and economic ties, with billions of dollars in trade and investment between the two countries annually.
The Secretary of State pointed out the U.S. and Slovakia have been security partners since Slovakia became an independent country in 1993, and NATO allies since 2004.
“This agreement makes it easier for our
militaries to coordinate on common defensive efforts, like conducting joint training exercises,” said Secretary Blinken. “It will create more regular consultation between our countries on threats to our people.”
The agreement also paves the way for the United States to support Slovakia in its efforts to upgrade its defense capabilities and infrastructure. The United States has signed similar agreements with almost two dozen of the countries in the NATO alliance in the interests of security and stability throughout Europe.
Secretary Blinken emphasized that the agreement with Slovakia is based on “cooperation and respect, the same values that form the basis of our cooperation through NATO,” he said.
“It was written by Slovakia and the United States together as full, equal, and sovereign partners, and it represents...the interests of the people of both our countries. Nothing in [the] agreement,” he added, “creates permanent U.S. bases or troop presence in Slovakia and the agreement fully respects Slovakia’s sovereignty and laws.”
Slovak Defense Minister Nad’ called the Defense Cooperation Agreement a clear demonstration of “the intensity” of Slovakia’s close security partnership with the United States and an expression of shared commitment to transatlantic security. He stressed the importance of taking “current threats and challenges in the security environment seriously in order to protect...shared values of democracy, freedom, and prosperity.”
Secretary Blinken declared that the 30 years the United States and Slovakia have worked closely as partners and allies have made “both countries and the region as a whole stronger, safer, more prosperous.” The new Defense Cooperation Agreement, he said, “builds on that past and it will help us create together an even stronger future.”