US may contribute to modernising Slovak airbases

The aid is not an attempt to build any US base in Slovakia, the Defence Ministry stressed.

The airport in Sliač; illustrative stock photo(Source: SME)

The defence cooperation between the United States and Slovakia may expand soon. This may include the use of US European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) funds to upgrade and improve Slovak facilities to better meet NATO and Slovak needs.

“These are facilities that the Slovak government has identified as in need of modernisation in order to meet the requirements of Slovakia’s own long-term strategic needs,” the US Embassy in Slovakia informed in a press release. “Any facilities that receive upgrades after the conclusion of an agreement will remain the property of the Slovak government.”

The upgrade will be possible thanks to a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), whose implementation will be discussed by a team of negotiators from the US Department of Defense arriving in Bratislava on April 18.

They will meet with their counterparts at the Slovak Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministries, as the US Embassy in Slovakia informed.

DCA to strengthen Slovakia’s own defence

The country may receive $46 million to modernise its airbases in Sliač (Banská Bystrica Region) and Kuchyňa (Bratislava Region). In this respect, the Slovak Defence Ministry stressed that the offer has nothing to do with the discussion about a supersonic air force. At the same time, it is not an effort to build or modernise US airbases on Slovakia’s territory, the TASR newswire reported.

The US has DCAs in place with multiple NATO allies. The agreement will improve the US ability to cooperate with Slovakia as a NATO ally and as a longstanding friend and partner, according to the US Embassy.

“In the case of Slovakia, the aid should focus on the modification of airport areas and an increase in the capacity of fuel storage,” said Defence Ministry’s spokesperson Danka Capáková, as quoted by TASR.

Read also:US presents F-16 aircraft in Bratislava

"To accept the aid, it is necessary that the Ministry fully correspond with the operational need of the Slovak armed forces and the specific agreement," Capáková added.

“It will strengthen Slovakia’s abilities to provide for its own defence and meet important commitments to the NATO Alliance, which serves as the guarantor of Slovakia’s security and sovereignty,” the US Embassy wrote in the press release. “We are confident that we will ultimately reach an agreement with our Slovak partners that protects the security and interests of both the American and Slovak people.”

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