A THIRD round of sanctions should not affect Slovak firms exporting to the Russian market nor the Slovak branch of the Russian bank Sberbank. The sanctions are to be adopted on September 8 and effective the following day. However, it is possible that the current truce between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian separatists could postpone the acceptance of the sanctions.
Originally, the sanctions were related to dual-use goods, i.e. products and technologies for civilian purposes, but which may have military applications. In the case of Slovakia they would affect trade involving machine tools, lathes, special drills and loaders. However, there will be no list of goods banned from export to Russia, but rather a list of Russian firms to which EU countries should not sell their products, according to Fico, Pravda daily reported on September 8.
The sanctions should also not hinder the service of Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, Slovakia’s basic tool for its air defence. Currently, the supply of replacement parts for the MiGs is not affected by the sanctions, according to Slovak Defence Ministry. In the case that supplies from Russia are halted, however, there are bilateral and multilateral agreements in place for exchanging scarce products within NATO. For example, Poland has a factory and service base for MiG-29s that is not dependant on Russia, Sme daily reported.
There is, however, a good chance that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will result in the halting of the gas flow to Slovakia from Russia. Nevertheless, the country is prepared for such a situation, according to Fico.
“I am not worried,” Fico said during a debate on private TV news channel TA3, as quoted by the TASR newswire on September 7. “It is not possible that a cut in gas would last for so long that we would not be able to withstand it.”
(Source: Pravda, TA3, TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
8. Sep 2014 at 14:00