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HZDS' Blanárik becomes new security boss

THE RULING Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) has pushed through the nomination of one of its own, the military sector’s František Blanárik, to the post of chairman of the National Security Bureau (NBÚ).

Blanárik, who is currently serving as Slovakia's military attaché to its embassy in Ukraine, is the party’s former secretary. He served as the head of a cabinet commission for the issue of export licenses to arms trading companies under the 1994-1998 Mečiar government, and later sat on the supervisory board of arms trader Petina International. Parliament must still approve his nomination to the NBÚ.

According to security analyst Ivo Samson, however, the nomination "will not draw a positive reaction abroad.

"In the past he [Blanárik] was engaged in arms trading, and now is to lead an office that screens and issues security clearances to companies that trade in weapons," Samson said to Pravda.

According to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, Blanárik meets all the requirements for the job.

Blanárik could take up his post in mid-September if parliament approves his nomination.

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