The statement comes only one day after Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov told the state-run TASR newswire that they expect Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to come to the celebrations.
“I decided that I will commemorate the anniversary of the end of WWII at home in Slovakia and will not go to Russia,” Kiska said during his visit to Bardejov on March 18, as quoted by the Sme daily.
He explained that regarding the events in Ukraine and Crimea he “does not want to participate in the celebration of army forces at the military parade”, but that he wants to remember those who deserve it the most – the soldiers who died in WWII, as reported by Sme.
“I plan to light a candle on this day [May 8] at as many cemeteries from the east in Dukla to the west at Slavín as possible – on graves where the soldiers of the Soviet Red Army are buried – the Russians, Ukrainians and soldiers of other nations, but also members of the Czechoslovak army, Romanians, Frenchmen and many others,” Kiska added.
He also called on others, especially young people, to light candles at every grave of the soldiers who died during the liberation of the country, as reported by the TASR newswire.
Meanwhile, Lavrov announced that Fico will be coming to the official celebrations, though a definitive decision has not yet been made, PM’s spokesperson Beatrice Szabóová told the Hnonline.sk website.
The way in which Russia announced Fico’s participation fits into propaganda games of the Kremlin, foreign policy analyst Pavol Demeš told Sme. He argues that peace talks have not made progress, Russia still supports separatists and Russian President Vladimir Putin confessed after a year that he was preparing in the long run for the annexation of Crimea.
According to political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov, it is hard to imagine that the head of a democratic party would celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism with somebody who prepared and realised aggression against a neighbouring country that also participated in the anti-fascist fight, Sme wrote.
18. Mar 2015 at 12:59 | Compiled by Spectator staff