BRATISLAVA (Slovenia) -- The president and parliament of Slovakia approved Wednesday a defense-military treaty with the United States.
In a vote between the opposition and lawmakers from the ruling coalition, the Defense Cooperation Agreement was passed with 79-60 votes in the 150-seat legislature.
The treaty allows the U.S. military two Slovak air force base bases -- MalackyKuchyna, and Sliac -- to be used for a period of 10 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. will give $100 million to Slovakia to modernize the bases.
On February 3, in Washington, U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken signed the deal with Jaroslav Nad (Slovakia's defense minister) On Wednesday, President Zuzana Caputo ratified the agreement.
The vote in parliament took place amid concerns that Russia would invade Ukraine. Moscow has positioned more than 100,000 troops close to Ukraine's borders but denies any plans to attack. The European Union country of Slovakia borders Ukraine. Moscow has gathered more than 100,000 troops near the border, but insists it does not intend to attack.
"Nothing in today’s agreement creates permanent U.S. troops presence in Slovakia, but the agreement fully respects Slovakia’s sovereignty and laws," Blinken stated during the U.S. State Department's last week's signature ceremony.
On Tuesday, thousands protested against the agreement at the Parliament Building in Bratislava's capital city.
These agreements have been reached by the U.S. with 23 NATO members, including Poland, Hungary, and two other countries bordering Ukraine on the east flank of NATO.
The Slovak parliament and government must approve any particular deployment of U.S. troops.