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Slovakia rejects Crimea referendum

SLOVAKIA’S authorities have officially announced they do not recognise the results of the March 16 referendum in Crimea, in which most voters agreed to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, calling it illegal and illegitimate. A Slovak MEP of the ruling party, however, disagrees with this stance.According to Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, countries cannot accept any decisions that are at odds with international law, the principles of the UN Charter, OSCE’s Helsinki Final Act and other international treaties.

SLOVAKIA’S authorities have officially announced they do not recognise the results of the March 16 referendum in Crimea, in which most voters agreed to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, calling it illegal and illegitimate. A Slovak MEP of the ruling party, however, disagrees with this stance.
According to Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič, countries cannot accept any decisions that are at odds with international law, the principles of the UN Charter, OSCE’s Helsinki Final Act and other international treaties.

“Slovakia condemns all actions that disrupt the preservation of the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine,” Gašparovič’s statement reads.

Gašparovič, as well as the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry, considers dialogue among all interested parties as the best way to resolve the crisis.

Speaking along the same lines as its EU partners, the Foreign Affairs Ministry called the referendum illegal and illegitimate, since it was carried out in conflict with the Ukrainian constitution and under the threat of Russian military intervention.

Slovak MEP Monika Flašíková-Beňová, however, has a different opinion. If 85 percent of the citizens of an autonomous area participate in the referendum and 95 percent of them say they have a different idea about how they want to live, that cannot be ignored, she said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. She also rejected comparing Crimea to Kosovo or to Hungarians living in Slovakia.

“These are different things,” Flašíková-Beňová told SITA. “In Slovakia, we do not have an autonomous area.”

Flašíková-Beňová said the way some people treat democracy is a shame.

“One day politicians say they do not respect the election results,” Flašíková-Beňová said, adding that the people in Crimea have made a decision and that the US has offended 85 percent of the local inhabitants. “I do respect democracy, even when the result is not positive for me.”

Flašíková-Beňová is currently running for re-election in the upcoming elections as number two on the Smer slate, after current EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič. Šefčovič considers Flašíková-Beňová’s statements her personal opinion.

“The EU and the US will not recognise the results of this referendum, because such a serious referendum should not take place with such haste, in conflict with the Ukrainian constitution, without foreign observers and in a situation when foreign troops are on the given territory,” he said, as quoted by SITA.

Prime Minister Robert Fico said the events in Ukraine are controversial and as such provoke various reactions.

The opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) has meanwhile called on Smer to withdraw Flašíková-Beňová from the slate, saying that it is a shame when she talks about respecting the results of an illegitimate referendum, SITA wrote.

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