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The standpoint of Mr Putin

In 2007, the policy of the Slovak government towards Russia is the same as it was in 1997. Instead of the prime minister explaining to Moscow the positions and views of the alliances of which Slovakia is a member, he is taking on board the positions and views of the Kremlin, and for good measure acting as a spokesman for them.

In 2007, the policy of the Slovak government towards Russia is the same as it was in 1997. Instead of the prime minister explaining to Moscow the positions and views of the alliances of which Slovakia is a member, he is taking on board the positions and views of the Kremlin, and for good measure acting as a spokesman for them.

Over a decade ago, the third Mečiar government declared that it wanted to bring Slovakia into NATO, while at the same time declaring that this should not happen against the will and agreement of Russia. He said that Moscow might regard it as an unfriendly act that could create "a new line of division in the world and support the emergence of a Russian-Chinese-Arab grouping". Instead of explaining to the Russian president that our entry to NATO did not threaten anyone, but instead increased the area of security and stability, Vladimír Mečiar took on the view of Moscow that enlargement could once again divide Europe. Moreover, he even spread the view of the Kremlin that rapid entry to NATO was not in Slovakia's own interests.

Ten years later, we are seeing the same thing. A Slovak government representative (at a recent NATO meeting) supported the Alliance's joint standpoint that the planned anti-rocket system would increase security in the trans-Atlantic area. But rather than explaining the stance of the Alliance, Prime Minister Fico adopted the views of his Russian partner Putin, who is pretending that building a radar system and a base with dozens of rockets seriously threatens Russia's strategic forces. Fico gave Putin his "personal" opinion that "if it were up to the Slovak government, we would not agree with this solution regarding the placement of weapons". Moreover, he even spread Putin's threat that "if a rocket base is built", Russia will aim its nuclear missiles at Poland and the Czech Republic. If the Russian president wants to threaten neighbouring, allied and friendly states, he should do so personally, not through the mouth of the Slovak prime minister.

Ten years ago, Prime Minister Mečiar was a "spokesman" for Russian President Yeltsin. Today, Prime Minister Fico is presenting to the world "the standpoint of Mr Putin".


Sme, May 7

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