Thirty years ago, the Velvet Revolution inspired the world. The people of Czechoslovakia took destiny into their own hands and cast off decades of communist oppression. Seventy-five years ago, the Slovak resistance movement against Nazi occupation launched the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944, and this movement contributed to the defeat of Nazism and fascism. This year, the United States and the Slovak Republic mark these notable anniversaries together along with 15 years of Slovak membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Alliance.
These milestones reflect Slovakia’s determination to anchor itself firmly within the Western community of nations. Now, our two nations are bound together by shared and timeless values-among them individual liberty, prosperity, the rule of law, democracy, sovereignty, and a commitment to peace and security.
As leaders of the United States and the Slovak Republic, we recognize that safeguarding these values requires strength. We believe the NATO Alliance is the best guarantor of transatlantic and European security. We reaffirm that our collective security demands that each Ally meet the Wales Pledge to devote two percent of gross domestic product to defense and twenty percent of defense spending to investments in new equipment.
The United States recognizes the significant steps the Slovak Republic has taken in the past year to increase its defense spending and modernize its armed forces, including the historic purchase of United States F-16 aircraft. We seek to build on this and deepen our defense cooperation by concluding a mutually beneficial Defense Cooperation Agreement between our countries.
We praise the courage of American and Slovak troops serving together in Afghanistan and Iraq and as participants in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroups. We remain firm in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and energy security, including through Slovak reverse gas flow to Ukraine. Continued sanctions against Russia must remain in force until the Minsk Agreements are fully implemented.
Our countries also affirm that energy security is fundamental to national security. We reiterate our opposition to the use of energy projects as geopolitical weapons, including Nord Stream 2. We commit to deepening our cooperation in cybersecurity and to working to develop and implement telecommunications security principles.
The United States and Slovak Republic believe in fair and reciprocal trade. We support an approach to United States-European Union trade relations that will bring jobs and growth to both sides of the Atlantic. We commit to explore opportunities for increasing investment between our countries and to strengthen our trading relationship further. We will work together to unlock the inherent innovation potential of our two economies.