“We’re seeking to help actual people who are suffering, as the situation in Ukraine is complicated,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We mustn’t lose sight of ordinary people even in national politics, let alone children who’ve lost their parents as a result of the conflict.”
As part of the package a symbolic cheque worth €25,000 was handed over to the chairperson of the Ukraine – Slovakia SOS charity Hana Švačka. The organisation will use the funds for two children’s homes, and to build a playground and buy furniture and hygienic aids.
Two health care facilities in Uzhgorod, near the Slovak border, are also to benefit from the Slovak assistance. Head of a regional hospital for infectious diseases Mikhail Polyak received a grant worth €8,700 that is to be used to buy a high-tech diagnostic tool called the elisa analyser used in detecting infectious diseases, TASR wrote.
Meanwhile, head of the city’s obstetrics clinic Oleg Onopko was presented a cheque for €8,700. The funds will buy medical equipment used in dealing with high-risk pregnancies and to look after prematurely born babies.
Apart from granting aid worth close to €3 million to Ukraine since 2014, Slovakia has also received over 140 Ukrainians for rehabilitation programmes in an effort to help them recover from their mostly mental ailments caused by the conflict there, as reported by TASR.
Lajčák meanwhile met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Parliamentary Chairman Volodymyr Groysman. After the meeting, he said that the current situation in Ukraine is fertile ground for populists, as it is much easier to criticise a government than support it. As a result, it is complicated to adopt difficult reform laws against such a backdrop.
A great deal of attention at the talks was paid to the Minsk peace process and the need to fulfil it. Lajčák deemed this to be a delicate matter, as it requires the adoption of difficult laws.
“It’s apparent that both sides are waiting for each other,” said the Slovak official, as quoted by TASR.
Lajčák and Yatsenyuk also touched on energy, with the former noting that “Ukraine views the Nord Stream 2 project very sensitively and has a negative outlook on it, because it’s damaging for the country both in political and economic terms”.
Despite the fact that many other issues are now on the front burner in Slovakia, Slovakia is keeping tabs on developments in Ukraine on a daily basis, said Lajčák.
“It’s important for us to make sure Ukraine doesn’t vanish from the agenda of talks at European forums,” he added, as quoted by TASR.
2. Feb 2016 at 16:06 | Compiled by Spectator staff