Between the two world wars, Czechoslovakia was one of the Europe’s most industrialized countries and one of the world’s biggest arms producers. The LT-35 light tank was the most cutting-edge weapon in its category. It was admired by Nazis during World War II and also by Americans after the war. Now, it is coming back to the Czech Republic from the United States thanks to the Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova, who negotiated its transport within the framework of US radar-base talks in the United States in July.
On September 19th, 2008, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova signed in London the SOFA treaty based on the planned stationing of a U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic.
SOFA stands for Status of Forces Agreement and allows U.S. troops to be present on Czech soil. Under the treaty, the U.S. military and civilian personnel at the planned U.S. base will be within the jurisdiction of Czech courts with two exceptions. The exceptions refer to the criminal acts committed by Americans while on duty and their criminal acts against the security and property of the United States or any other U.S. personnel at the base.