CHANCELLOR of Germany Angela Merkel met President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico and received an honorary title at Comenius University on October 20. Fico agreed with Merkel that Ukraine needs help.
The European Union does not want to use the military to address the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, as it instead aims to ensure the realisation of all points of the peace plan agreed upon in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5, Merkel said during her official visit to Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported.
“We’re far away from a ceasefire,” said Merkel, as quoted by TASR, adding that over 300 people have been killed in the restive region of Ukraine since the ceasefire was announced.
Fico said that once all points of the agreement struck in Minsk are fulfilled, discussion on the gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia can be opened. He further noted that besides political problems plaguing Ukraine, Kiev needs to adopt what he called “incredibly difficult” social, economic and financial reforms.
“Sometimes I feel like, rather than resolving its problems itself, Ukraine expects everybody else to do that,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR. “We’ll watch closely the developments in Ukraine and what requests the country will make. We’re ready to help, but only as long as Ukraine itself engages in fulfilling its tasks.”
European Union countries have to be united, and this does not concern only foreign policy issues, Kiska and Merkel concurred during their meeting in Bratislava. Kiska gave assurances to Merkel that Slovakia stands alongside its partners and backs all of the EU’s measures vis-a-vis assistance to Ukraine, TASR reported.
“We agreed that the EU needs to speak in one voice on key issues,” said Kiska, as quoted by TASR.
In addition, the two officials discussed economic cooperation between EU-member countries and stressed the need for adherence to agreed-upon rules. Increasing competitiveness is an important factor for economic growth, Kiska and Merkel both stated. They also discussed changes in the judiciary that Kiska has made since he was sworn in four months ago.
In Bratislava, Merkel also received an honorary doctorate “Doctor honoris causa” from Comenius University for her work as a researcher and stateswoman.
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
21. Oct 2014 at 10:00