RUSSIAN Parliamentary Speaker Sergei Naryshkin is currently on an official visit to Slovakia, primarily to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP), the Slovak uprising against Nazi occupation during the Second World War. The day before the anniversary, on August 28, he was assured by his Slovak counterpart that people in Slovakia are still grateful to the Russians for the liberation of their country by Soviet forces that marked the end of the war.
“We discussed certain efforts and tendencies to deform history, but I assured the chairman that Russia doesn’t need to worry about Slovaks losing their historical memory,” said Slovak Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška at joint press briefing that day.
The chairman of the Russian Duma thanked Paška and all Slovaks on behalf of Russians for the respect that Slovak society has shown towards monuments commemorating the Russian soldiers who were killed in battle during the SNP and the country’s liberation.
“In the liberation process of Slovakia, 60,000 [Russian soldiers] died,” Naryshkin said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “The SNP was a huge milestone in the history of World War II and a big contribution to the victory over fascism. We highly praise our brothers-in-arms’ state during the Second World War. We have to fight together for the political truth.”
In terms of economic cooperation, which both politicians assessed as very good, Naryshkin added that Russia is doing its utmost to protect Slovakia's energy security as well as that of the whole of Europe. Paška stressed that cooperation at the parliamentary level can “be helpful in dialogue about big investment projects, but also in solving issues like visa obligations between the European Union and the Russian Federation”.
On August 28, both speakers of parliament laid wreathes at the Slavín memorial in Bratislava for the Soviet soldiers killed in the Second World War. Naryshkin’s official visit continued on August 29, the official holiday commemorating the SNP, at the ceremony at the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica.
2. Sep 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská