Czech Republic, Slovakia to cooperate on guarding air spaces

The Czech Republic has approved a plan for Czech and Slovak air forces to cooperate in protecting air spaces over the two neighboring countries that once formed Czechoslovakia.

The Czech Defense Ministry says the protection both the Czech Republic and Slovakia already receive as NATO members is effective only for military threats.

The ministry said Monday that the new cooperation plan would cover non-military threats such as a terror attack committed with a civilian passenger jet.

Slovakia's government had already approved the deal, which still needs parliamentary and presidential approvals before it would take effect.

The Czechs uses JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets, which Slovakia is negotiating with Sweden to acquire. The Slovak military still has Russian MiG-29 jets.