THE TRAGIC crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet MH17 in eastern Ukraine has provoked numerous reactions in Slovakia.

President Andrej Kiska sent letters of condolences to Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Malaysian King Abdul Halim of Kedah on July 18, the TASR newswire reported.

In his condolence letters, President Kiska expressed his deep grief over the tragic fate of the MH17 flight and voiced his heartfelt sympathy with the relatives of the victims.

Kiska at the same time expressed the strong belief that the cause and circumstances of the tragedy would be thoroughly investigated with assistance from international experts without delay.

The Foreign Ministry also expressed its sincere sympathy with all of those bereaved by the tragedy. The ministry further urged the respective authorities to secure an independent international probe into the potential causes of the tragedy.

It added that, according to the available information, there were no Slovaks among the 298 victims of the crash.

“We will continue to be in contact with all relevant authorities, so as to be able to confirm this statement officially,” stated the ministry as quoted by TASR.

Slovak politicians have also reacted to the tragedy.

“All sides of the conflict in Ukraine, including Russia, should do everything to contribute to the acceleration of the investigation of the accident of the plane in Ukraine,” stated Defence Minister Martin Glváč on July 20, as quoted by the Sme daily. His inclusion of Russia among the parties to the conflict was at the same time the toughest statement against Moscow made by a Slovak government politician to date, the daily noted.

PM Robert Fico and Parliament Speaker Pavol Paška only sent condolences and urged that the tragedy be investigated. Last week, before the plane was downed, Slovak PM Robert Fico said in Brussels that he does not consider a third round of sanctions against Moscow necessary. President Andrej Kiska has also been cautious in his statements.

“The culprits responsible for the death of hundreds of people cannot escape unpunished,” writes his spokesman Peter Petrus, as quoted by Sme, in response to the question of how the EU should react if it is proven that the plane was downed by separatists helped by Moscow.

In contrast, head of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee František Šebej of Most-Híd was uncompromisingly pointed in his statements.

“The Russians should stop fighting and supporting the separatists in Ukraine,” he said, as quoted by Sme, adding that he does not see room for military intervention and supports tougher sanctions against Moscow as a tool to end the violence.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.