The Slovak Security Council is on standby, monitoring the country’s border with Ukraine.

No movement of migrants or an increased number of visa applications of Ukrainian citizens has occurred thus far, but if necessary, Slovakia is ready to respond, the Government Office press department informed the TASR newswire February 19. According to a statement made by Prime Minister Robert Fico earlier in the day, the Slovak Government is concerned about the recent wave of violence that has erupted on the streets of Kiev. The cabinet condemned all forms of violence and called for it to end immediately.

According to the latest reports, at least 26 people have been killed in clashes between the police and protesters since February 18 – an estimated 16 demonstrators, including one journalist, and 10 police officers. At least 241 more people have suffered injuries that have required hospital treatment. These were the bloodiest clashes since the outbreak of demonstrations against President Viktor Yanukovych.

Vice-chairman of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-SDKÚ
Ivan Štefanec proposed summoning a special session of parliamentary Committee for European Affairs, according to TASR. “As the vice-chair of the committee, I asked for summoning its special session in attendance of the Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák and Ukrainian ambassador,” Štefanecc said. “It is high time to send a serious signal also to the Slovak Government; we cannot be satisfied with it only issuing stances on Ukraine. The Slovak Government must be active in this respect.”

Member states of the European Union should adopt targeted measures against individuals who are responsible for violence in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. They could, for example, freeze the bank accounts of those suspected of getting that money illegally, or put on a visa black-list people who are responsible for the deaths of protesters, he said.

“We are not talking about flat sanctions but rather about punishing the people who are responsible,” he added.

In the meantime, there are still sings of fights in the central Kiev square, Majdan, and the Lviv region in the west of the country has declared independence, the Sme daily wrote.

(Source: TASR, SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.