Slovakia supports EU naval operation

THE EUROPEAN Union’s foreign ministers agreed to launch a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea they hope will thwart the lucrative people-smuggling business.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák (Source: TASR)

The operation was titled EUNAVFOR MED, and it should cost €11.82 million.  Slovakia will contribute  0.5 percent, some €65,000, the SITA newswire reported.

The main aim of the operation is to monitor the situation in the international waters, stop the ships and destroy the vessels.

“It is the first phase of the fight against illegal migration, which should be then followed by second and third phase,” Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said, as quoted by SITA.

The latter two phases will however require some legal base in form of the UN Security Council’s resolution or invitation from Libya’s legitimate government, as the operations would take place in its territorial waters. These possibilities are currently discussed at the UN, Lajčák added.

The ministers also approved a formal extension to economic sanctions against Russia by an extra month – until the end of January 2016.

“The EU has an additional month to decide whether or not there is an opportunity to lift them,” said Lajčák, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

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