Danko criticised for friendly speech to Russian MPs

While the speaker of parliament spoke in Moscow, President Kiska delivered a speech in the European Parliament. Lajčák says both should have consulted him.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (l) and President Andrej Kiska (r)Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko (l) and President Andrej Kiska (r) (Source: SME)

Neither President Andrej Kiska nor Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko discussed their speeches prior to their performance in the European Parliament and Russian State Duma, respectively. This is not right, said Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák.

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“As a foreign affairs minister I’m uncomfortable that top constitutional officials don’t feel the need to consult their speeches delivered abroad in advance,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “I only hope that they will not be in a different direction. It wouldn’t have a good impact on Slovakia.”

Though the law does not order high-ranking politicians to discuss their speeches delivered abroad with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, former foreign affairs minister and MEP Eduard Kukan thinks they should do it. It is a sign of politeness, he told the Sme daily.

Culture Minister Marek Maďarič (Smer) also thinks the highest state representatives should consult their speeches in order to keep foreign politics united.

Kiska and Danko respond

Kiska responded to the criticism by saying that Lajčák probably does not have adequate insight into the current goings-on in Slovakia, as he is busy serving as president of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

After his speech, the president pointed out that a month ago a joint statement by Slovakia’s top constitutional officials, himself, Danko and PM Robert Fico, was put to ink in which they highlighted the country’s membership of the EU and stated that there is no other alternative than the European one for Slovakia’s future.

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Read also: Fico: Slovakia is a pro-European island in Central Europe Read more 

“The speech I gave here today was in perfect harmony with what we signed along with him [Danko] and the prime minister,” said Kiska, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that he does not view the fact that Danko addressed the Russian State Duma as problematic in terms of the declaration.

Danko is ready to demand an explanation from Lajčák after he returns from his visit in Russia. He claimed he sees no reason to consult his speech with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and called Lajčák’s commentary “outrageous”, as reported by TASR.

Others criticise Danko

The fact is that Lajčák was not the only one to criticise Danko. Slovak MEPs were surprised by his speech, in which he stated that global peace is not possible without a strong Russia, as Russia forms part of global security.

“Our country does not exist in an international and security vacuum,” reads the joint statement of the Slovak MEPs, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “We have different opinions on the political management of public affairs, but we need to have a clear idea about our allies and who in the international environment is seeking security and a better life for our citizens.”

Thus they were really surprised by Danko’s speech.

“Such displays, unfortunately, do not make Slovakia a trustworthy member of the European community,” the statement reads.

They warned against a different language used by some politicians on the national political level and abroad.

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