Today the Senate of the Czech Parliament approves the Treaty on deployment of missile defence radar and the complementary SOFA treaty (Status of Forces Agreement) on the conditions of the presence of the U.S. military troops on the Czech territory (we reported earlier).
Forty nine of 81 senators voted for both treaties. The Government favouring the radar construction welcomed the decision of the Senate. The Deputy Prime Minister is reported to have said that: “If we are to rely on others, they must have a chance to rely on us too. We are in NATO, which is a commitment for us. Today’s approval sends out a clear signal.” All Social Democrat and Communist senators voted against the Treaties. They mostly argued that the hearing should be adjourned until it is resolved whether the radar will be incorporated into the NATO defence structure. They also demanded a nationwide referendum on this controversial issue.
The Treaties still need approval by the Lower Chamber, where the vote is expected to be very close as the governing coalition has rather unstable majority to safeguard the smooth approval. Regrettably, the vote is not expected before the end of this year.