Slovakia’s Foreign and European Affairs Ministry played host to the 16th annual conference on April 14 designed to review the country's foreign and European policy in the previous year. The event was co-organised by the research centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA). Speeches were then delivered by President Andrej Kiska, Speaker of Parliament Peter Pellegrini and Prime Minister Robert Fico.
In his speech Fico claimed that he is interested in cooperation on the level of civilised partners that brings mutual benefits.
“I do not hanker for further sanctions against Russia. On the contrary, I am openly committed to solutions and dialogue,” he said, as quoted by TASR, stressing that military approaches won't resolve the situation but will only lead to more victims on both sides.
Fico is sceptical about options to supply arms to Ukraine. He declared that he has to take the citizens into account, as Slovakia supports the common positions of the EU.
“We are a sovereign and free country. We have a right to defend our interests ... but we won’t go against the unity of international organisations, especially the EU and NATO,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR.
Russia is apparently trying to weaken the unity of European Union member countries after Russia’s capacity to respond promptly to developments in Ukraine caught many outside the EU by surprise, Kiska said.
He went on to say that all decisions adopted by the EU concerning Ukraine have been made based on consensus and with the consent of the Slovak government. He reiterated that it is also in Slovakia’s interest to contribute towards unity in the EU.
Slovak officials agreed on that 2014 was a very difficult and complicated year, and not only in terms of the unrest in Ukraine.
“The challenges persist. We’re facing them today and will probably continue to face them in the future,” Foreign Affair Minister Miroslav Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “I hope we will act more proactively in 2015, focus more on causes and less on consequences, plan more than a year ahead, and enhance our communication.”
14. Apr 2015 at 22:47 | Compiled by Spectator staff