SLOVAKIA will strengthen the protection of its eastern border due to the growing tension in Crimea, Ukraine, the Security Council decided at its session on the evening of March 3.
The Council members did not specify the details since the decision was made under secrecy, the SITA newswire reported.
“The point is mainly to prevent illegal migration across our border and at the same time to take other measures that will protect the interests of the Slovak Republic in the region immediately neighbouring the border,” said PM Robert Fico, who presides over the Council, following the session, as quoted by SITA. Fico noted that there is a certain inability on the part of Ukraine to protect the border.
The measures are mainly connected with hundreds of illegal migrants from so-called third countries who are currently in refugee camps in Ukraine and who might attempt to take advantage of the lack of border protection to cross the border into the EU.
Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák discussed the situation with partners from Ukraine’s other neighbours and said that in Slovakia the border patrol along the Ukrainian border is perhaps the best.
“Our border police makes sure to maintain close contact in the original setting of our colleagues from Ukraine,” Kaliňák said following the Council session, as quoted by SITA. He explained that the security risk is not due to the Ukrainian citizens, but rather due to the increased tolerance of the Ukrainian security forces who “are currently in a very strange regime”, namely that civil patrols prevail in some areas, who fulfil specific tasks, but “certainly migration flows from central Asia to Slovakia are not something that concerns them currently”.
As for Russia’s incursion into Crimea, Slovakia will coordinate its stance with its EU partners, PM Fico said, adding that diplomatic and political solutions are preferred and that the European Council that has been convened for Thursday, March 7, is supposed to put some pressure on Russia.
Slovakia’s main concern at the moment is the potential threat to the supplies of oil and gas to the country and their transit to western Europe. The Security Council discussed the strategic raw materials reserves and concluded that Slovakia has reserves of oil for 95 days and gas for four to five months. The reverse flow of gas through Slovakia to Ukraine can be expected to continue.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Mar 2014 at 10:00