New Military Pact Lets US Forces Use Slovak Air Bases for a Decade

Slovakia will get $100 million from the US to upgrade the bases

Slovakia’s president and parliament ratified a new military treaty on Wednesday that will allow US forces to use two air bases in the country for the next decade.

Under the deal, the US will give Slovakia, a NATO member that shares a small border with Ukraine, $100 million to upgrade the bases. The treaty was signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Slovakia’s defense minister in Washington on February 3rd.

The treaty narrowly passed in a vote of 79 to 60 in Slovakia’s 150-seat parliament. Opponents of the deal in the parliament worry that such a treaty with the US threatens the country’s sovereignty. Both the US and Slovak governments insist the deal does not create a permanent US military presence in the country.

Besides the opposition to the deal in parliament, opinion polls show that ordinary Slovaks aren’t buying the US narrative around the issue of Ukraine. According to Reuters, a January poll showed that 44.1% of Slovaks believed the US and NATO were to blame for the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, while 34.7% blamed Moscow.

The deal with Slovakia is part of the US and NATO effort to bolster its forces near Ukraine amid heightened tensions with Russia. President Biden ordered about 3,000 troops to be deployed to Germany, Poland, and Romania. Some US troops were due in Romania on Wednesday for an open-ended deployment, and more are expected.

Some countries in the region are pushing for a greater US military presence. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said Wednesday that he will ask the US to permanently deploy troops to the Baltic country. “Of course we will be talking to the US to make sure that the rotational US forces would be in Lithuania permanently,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.