Warning from the British

British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind issued a warning October 17 to Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk, who was on an official visit to Britain. Expressing concern about political developments in Slovakia, Rifkind said the country will get into the European Union (EU) only if it meets basic democratic standards, Reuters reported.

A British official said Britain is helping Slovakia prepare for EU entry, but he stressed that "a great deal" of work remains to be done. "The EU partners, including the U.K., have been very concerned about the trend of recent political developments in Slovakia," the unnamed official said. The next day, Schenk denied the Reuters story. The British expressed interest in "the completion of the democratization process in Slovakia,"Schenk told Slovak Radio. "What they said, however, was clear in the sense that they support our efforts toward integration."

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