THE INTERIOR Ministry has not provided any details about the Ukrainians who were reported to have requested asylum in Slovakia but were “talked out of it”, the Sme daily reported on April 18.
“We had the first four asylum requests of Ukrainians, but we discussed it with them and they decided to return,” Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said on April 17, as reported by Sme. Since then, the ministry failed to provide any details of the identities of the applicants.
The Ukrainians reportedly asked about asylum during their tourist trip in Poprad, according to Sme.
“After we explained that they would have to go through the asylum process and their movement within the EU would be limited, they changed their minds,” the ministry told Sme.
Representatives of Ukrainians and Ruthenians living in Slovakia expressed doubts about the ministry’s approach.
“If they didn’t fulfil the requirements for granting asylum or just consulted on the possibilities of asylum, it would be transparent to clearly name the reasons why they changed their minds,” said Anton Horshkov, a Ukrainian living in Slovakia, in an interview with Sme.
Helena Dohovičová of the Association of Ruthenian-Ukrainians in Slovakia said there is no room to joke about granting asylum to Ukrainian citizens, Sme reported.
Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcova took issue with Minister Kalinak’s statements as well.
“When there are people coming from a country where there is a threat of an armed conflict, then every state including Slovakia should be welcoming,” she said, as quoted by Sme.
The ministry reacted by saying that the ombudswoman is only interested in politicking and leading a conflict with the Interior Ministry.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.
22. Apr 2014 at 10:00