The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the latest initiative concerning the August 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact armies were among the topics discussed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini on the second day of the latter’s visit to Russia.
The two met in the Constantine Palace in Saint Petersburg.
The meeting was very pragmatic and concrete, without diplomatic, empty words, said Pellegrini.
“The President was informed in detail about all the fields of cooperation between Russia and Slovakia,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Statement on 1968
Pellegrini and Putin talked about the connection of Slovakia to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that will probably be launched in the future, the connection of Slovakia to the Turkish Stream, which is currently under construction and the storage of gas, as well as the repair and maintenance of Slovakia's fighter jets.
They also talked about the initiative of MPs of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation concerning the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact armies in August 1968.
“I can officially say that PM Dmitry Medvedev and the President assured us that it [the legal proposal] is the activity of an individual MP that does not change the attitude of the Russian government and the President towards the events of 1968,” Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR.
Putin also confirmed the previous agreements linked to gas supplies. They talked about the consequences of the gas crisis in Slovakia. Putin said that Russia has no interest in harming Slovakia in any way.
The two politicians also discussed the lack of Russian language teachers. Pellegrini showed an interest in increasing the money for the internship of Russian teachers in Slovak schools if possible.
Putin and Trump in Banská Bystrica?
Putin expressed his delight that he could welcome the Slovak delegation to Saint Petersburg.
“There are traditionally good, friendly relationships between our countries,” he said, as quoted by TASR. “This is mirrored in our economic relationship.”
Putin considers Slovakia to be an important partner in the economic sphere.
Pellegrini invited Putin to the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising that will take place in Banská Bystrica this August. He has also invited Medvedev and US President Donald Trump.
Asked whether Trump and Putin will meet in Banská Bystrica, Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák (Smer nominee) responded that it depends on the situation and whether there is a need for such a meeting.
Pellegrini did not meet with Putin in Moscow because he had accepted an invitation to speak together with the Russian and Chinese Presidents and UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
6. Jun 2019 at 23:56 | Compiled by Spectator staff