President Pavel signs defense agreement with US

The agreement enhances security guarantees and practical defense cooperation amid concerns of Russian military aggression against Ukraine. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.08.2023 10:05:00 (updated on 02.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia has completed the ratification of a defense cooperation agreement with the U.S. President Petr Pavel has signed the agreement, the President's Office announced. The document now awaits the co-signature of Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who is currently in Croatia. A spokesperson said he will sign it upon his return.

The document received substantial support in both houses of the Czech parliament, with 66 out of 72 senators and 115 out of 144 deputies voting in favor.

The defense agreement, comprising around 40 pages, covers various aspects, including the legal status of U.S. soldiers, environmental protection, operation of motor vehicles by U.S. soldiers and their families, and status of U.S. armed forces contractors. Additionally, the agreement grants tax and customs duties exemptions to U.S. soldiers during their stay in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, it lists Czech military installations and premises that the U.S. armed forces will be permitted to use under pre-agreed conditions.

Agreement sets up a framework for the future

Defence Minister Jana Černochová emphasized that the agreement provides the Czech Republic with an additional security guarantee, particularly in light of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. However, the presence of U.S. military in the country for an extended period will still require parliamentary approval, and the agreement would govern the legal status of U.S. troops in such a scenario.

The Chamber of Deputies also adopted an accompanying resolution, proposed by ANO, stating that the agreement deepens practical defense cooperation with the U.S., enhancing security for the Czech Republic. It further clarifies that the agreement does not grant the U.S. armed forces the right to construct permanent military bases in the Czech Republic or to reside permanently in the country without prior Czech consent, nor does it authorize the deployment of nuclear weapons.

Most NATO countries have a defense agreement or similar document with the U.S. Of the eastern members of the alliance, only the Czech Republic remained. The agreement solidifies defense ties between the two nations, further contributing to regional security and stability.

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