THE SITUATION in Ukraine dominated the talks between Slovak President Andrej Kiska and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck on July 23.

Kiska informed Gauck about July 22 meeting of Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) presidents with representatives from the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Romania in Warsaw regarding the Ukrainian crisis. They also talked about sterner sanctions against Russia.

“This could take place in the following days,” Kiska said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

According to him, Gauck explained that Germany underlines the need for continuation of dialogue with Russia, yet is in favour of adopting a clear stance that recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine are unacceptable.

“I believe that sterner sanctions as the result of a joint EU approach represent an incredibly important step,” the Slovak president, who finds it vital to have the union act in concert, said, as quoted by TASR.

Aside from foreign affairs, the two presidents also discussed options for further cooperation between Germany and Slovakia in dual education, support for the creation of new jobs and research and development in Slovakia. Kiska and Gauck also discussed the sharing of common values. Both campaigned for office as non-partisans.

“His message that it is necessary to bring back morals and decency into politics and that has a lot of common ground with my own stance,” Kiska said, as quoted by TASR.

The Slovak President also met with Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, who showed him Brandenburg Gate and held talks with him at Berlin City Hall. At the end of the visit, Kiska went to the Berlin Wall monument as the first Slovak president ever to do so and commemorated the Germans killed attempting to pass through the Iron Curtain from the former East Germany to the former West Germany by laying a wreath.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.