THE OPPOSITION parties have criticised Prime Minister Robert Fico for his statements about the sanctions between Russia and the European Union.

“Robert Fico has shown again that he acts like a Russian spy and fulfils the task of marauder within the EU when he breaks with its common policy aimed at protecting democracy and suppressing aggression,” said Ľudovít Kaník, MP for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Kaník responded to Fico’s statements made at the August 9 celebrations of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) in Lehota pod Vtáčnikom (Trenčín Region) when he described the sanctions as senseless and called on the opposition and governing party to unite and protect Slovakia’s interests.

“It is necessary to unite, but against politicians such as Robert Fico, in exactly the same way as the Democratic Party united with anti-Fascist forces during the SNP,” Kaník said, as quoted by SITA.

Richard Sulík, chair of the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, said that such statements are typical for Fico when addressing “the part of Smer’s electorate which responds to pro-Russian and anti-western sentiments”. But, on the other hand, he does not want to stand out in the EU with his affinity to Russia, as reported by SITA. The EU and Russia have to sit together and find a mutual solution that will not be destructive for both parties, Sulík added.

Most-Híd party considers Fico’s statements to be incorrect.

“It is regrettable that … the Slovak PM doubts the clear approach of the EU, including Slovakia, towards a country which gravely violates the freedom of other nations,” the party wrote in the statement, as quoted by SITA. “Moreover, with such statements Robert Fico weakens the position of Slovakia in the EU.”

The party also said Fico’s statements deviated from “the standard values of European policy”.

“The sanctions against Russia are a result of the collective agreement between EU countries and this agreement should be respected,” the party claimed.

According to the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the PM’s statements do not contribute to the effectiveness of the sanctions against Russia. The party said it supports the sanctions, which have already impacted the Russian economy.

“The aim is not to weaken the economies, but [to achieve] peace and stability in eastern Ukraine,” said KDH spokesperson Matej Kováč, as quoted by SITA. “It is important that Russia respects international law and does not interfere in the development of other sovereign states, in this case Ukraine.”

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka, on the other hand, said he understands the possible concerns of Slovakia.

“But thanks to the Nordstream, Opal and Gazela gas pipelines, we are able to supply gas with other channels and we are even able to supply Slovakia,” Sobotka told the Sme daily.

Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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