Government Approves Czech-US Defence Cooperation Agreement
The agreement is intended to facilitate the possible stay of US troops in the Czech Republic. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, April 26 (CTK) – The government today approved the Czech-US defence cooperation agreement (DCA), Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) told journalists after a cabinet meeting.
The agreement is intended to facilitate the possible stay of US troops in the Czech Republic. The document must still be approved by both houses of Parliament and signed by the president after it is signed by the defence minister.
According to Defence Minister Jana Cernochova (ODS), the most suitable date for signing the agreement is now being sought.
The treaty is to set the conditions for possible cooperation with US armed forces on the territory of the Czech Republic. However, it does not address the specific stay of US soldiers or the possible establishment of a US base on Czech territory. This would still need to be approved by the government and parliament first, and would be a separate political decision.
According to Fiala, the agreement is significant in terms of security and strategy in the current “turbulent times” and increases the security of the Czech Republic and Czech citizens.
The approximately 40-page document covers all relevant areas that may relate to the possible presence of US troops in the Czech Republic or cooperation between US and Czech armed forces on Czech territory. It addresses, for example, the legal status of US troops, environmental protection, the operation of motor vehicles by US troops and their families, and the status of US armed forces contractors. It also deals with the exemption of US soldiers from taxes and duties in the Czech Republic.
Currently, 24 of the other 30 NATO countries have concluded a DCA treaty or equivalent with the USA. In addition to the Czech Republic, Denmark is in the process of negotiating a similar treaty, and Finland and Sweden are also preparing for this in connection with their entry to NATO. The Czech Republic is the last country among the eastern members of the alliance not to have concluded a similar treaty. Hungary adopted it two years ago, while in Slovakia, the approval was accompanied by a sharp internal political debate.