US military can now use air bases in EU state bordering Ukraine — Analysis

Slovakian MPs approve a controversial protection settlement regardless of fierce opposition and protests

Slovakia’s parliament has accepted a polarizing protection treaty below which the US will use the nation’s Malacky-Kuchyna and Sliac air bases for 10 years and pay Bratislava $100 million to modernize them. After a spherical of loud debates on Wednesday, 79 members of the 150-seat Slovakian legislature backed the settlement, whereas 60 voted in opposition to it. The deal, signed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Slovakian Protection Minister Jaroslav Nad on February 3, nonetheless must be ratified by the Central European nation’s president, Zuzana Caputova, who apparently helps it.

A number of political events have fiercely opposed the settlement, whereas 1000’s protested the cope with Washington outdoors the parliament constructing in Slovakia’s capital on Tuesday.

WATCH: Parliamentarians fight over Ukrainian flag

Thanking his colleagues for his or her vote, Minister Nad stated: “I’m extraordinarily proud that, regardless of the strain from trolls, the fabricated strain on social media, and arranged protests, the members of the [ruling] coalition have realized what’s necessary for the Slovak Republic and the subsequent generations.”

The US and Slovakia are army allies by way of the North Atlantic Treaty Group (NATO). The settlement with the US was signed amid the continued standoff between the Western army bloc and Russia over Ukraine and the bloc’s enlargement in Japanese Europe.

Former Slovak prime minister Robert Fico, whose left-wing SMER-SD occasion opposes the settlement, promised to gather signatures with a view to put the “treasonous” deal up for a referendum. “I imagine the residents of the Slovak Republic will say no to the settlement,” Fico stated. “We now have handed over our airspace and airports [to be] below the management of the US.”

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