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Government silent over Russia sanctions

THOUGH the representatives of the government, employers and trade unions, as well as the government itself, discussed the draft of the European Union’s newest sanctions against Russia, no binding stance has been released yet. The debate will continue after the European Commission delivers the list of commodities to be affected by the sanctions.

THOUGH the representatives of the government, employers and trade unions, as well as the government itself, discussed the draft of the European Union’s newest sanctions against Russia, no binding stance has been released yet. The debate will continue after the European Commission delivers the list of commodities to be affected by the sanctions.

Some sources say that Prime Minister Robert Fico allegedly said during the talks that he is aware of the fact that Slovakia cannot oppose its partners in the EU. He, however, wants to selectively look at some goods from the new list of sanctions, the Sme daily reported.

“A list of commodities that will be forbidden to be exported to Russia will be delivered from the European Commission today [September 3] in the afternoon,” said Beatrice Szabóová, Fico’s spokeswoman, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We will sit down immediately, will communicate with Slovak companies on the possible effects, and then we will make a more specific statement.”

The sanctions, according to Sme, pertain to the access to the capital markets, the defence sector, goods of dual use and sensitive technologies.

“It is up to the member states to review the Commission’s proposals,” Andrej Králik from the Representation of the EC in Slovakia told Sme.

According to Slovak Economy Minister Pavol Pavlis, the government must protect the interests of Slovak entrepreneurs and employers in the first place. Pavlis sees several possible effects of the sanctions on Slovakia.

“We may lose orders and contracts,” the minister said, as quoted by TASR, adding that Slovak companies will then have to look for new markets, for example, in China and Latin America.

Fico said after the August 30 summit in Brussels that he reserves the right to reject any measures that would harm the national interests of Slovakia. Finance Minister Peter Kažimír considers such an approach pragmatic.

“It is clever to loudly communicate one’s concerns in front of the partners, and it is clever to achieve consensus,” Kažimír said, as quoted by Sme.

Only Luboš Sirota of the National Union of Employers said he warned Fico against the other side of the problem.

“Not supporting the sanctions can evoke the so-called silent sanctions of the EU,” he said, as quoted by Sme.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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