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Kiska asked at NATO summit whether Slovakia sides with Russia

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska praised the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico for accepting the sanctions against Russia in a debate shown on public service broadcaster RTVS on September 21. He, however, added that if prime ministers accept something they should back their actions with words.

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska praised the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico for accepting the sanctions against Russia in a debate shown on public service broadcaster RTVS on September 21. He, however, added that if prime ministers accept something they should back their actions with words.

“We accepted the sanctions along with our closest allies,” Kiska said in the debate, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “I consider it necessary that prime ministers and presidents back [the sanctions] even with their words after they accept something like that.”

Fico has repeatedly condemned the sanctions for some time, calling them pointless and saying they are hurting the country’s economy. For example, Fico argued on August 31 that it makes no sense to apply additional sanctions against Russia until one is certain of whether the previous ones have met their target, while it seems to him that “the sanctions applied so far have not changed the attitude of Russia at all; quite the contrary”.

“We disagree with such a sanctions war,” Fico said on August 31, as quoted by TASR, adding that “sanctions do not lead anywhere and cannot become our policy”.

Kiska said that due to Fico’s statements on the matter, he was asked at the NATO summit held in Wales on September 4-5, 2014 whether Slovakia is siding with the Russian federation.

“It is not pleasant when I come to the summit where there are presidents and prime ministers of dozens of states, our closest allies, and they start to ask questions about what is happening,” Kiska said during the debate, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “Are you really part of the EU’s core? Do you have some pro-Russian leanings? I received such questions.”

Kiska added that everybody would prefer dialogue to sanctions; however, “when dialogue doesn’t work ... we can’t just stick to words”, he said, as quoted by SITA.

(Source: TASR, SITA, RTVS)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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