"The Slovak Republic is an integral part of the EU, but at the same time we realise that the world has four cardinal points and there is a need for dialogue with everyone," Andrej Danko said during his recent visit to Moscow, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Danko visited Moscow on June 30 - July 3 to attend the "Development of Parliamentarism" International Forum. He brought about two dozen Slovak businesspeople with him to Russia to establish ties with their Russian counterparts.
Danko, who is known for his frequent trips to Russia, friendly relations with Russian officials and critical stances towards the EU's sanctions against Russia, highlighted the efforts of the European leaders to lead the dialogue with Russia.
The Parliament's speaker also called for a strong system of the UN, which he believes the world needs "more than ever before".
Another invitation for SNP
Danko used the opportunity to hand out an invitation to the head of the chairwoman of the Russian Council of Federation, Valentina Matviyenko, to attend the celebrations of the Slovak National Uprising anniversary in late August. He was not discouraged by the fact that the Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko recently turned his invitation down.Read also:Read more
Matviyenko, whose name appears on the sanctions lists, promised that a delegation of the Council of Federation, the Russian parliament's upper chamber, will attend. She called Danko a true friend of Russia and one of few European politicians who do not overwrite World War II history.
"Here you are known as a balanced politician with a good relationship with Russia," she told Danko, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Danko, in turn, said that in Russia he feels "it does not matter what our post is; we feel that you have a big heart".
Lajčák is tired of explaining
When asked about Danko's recent trip to Russia, Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák admitted that he regrets Slovakia does not have a single foreign policy line. He complained journalists always force him into a confrontation with Danko.Read also:Read more
"I'm tired now. I am the foreign affairs minister, not the minister of explaining the statements of Mr Danko," Lajčák said, as quoted by SITA.
When asked why Danko signed the foreign policy declaration of the three top constitutional officials only to invite representatives of autocratic regimes and people from sanctions lists to Slovakia, Lajčák responded: "Can it be explained?"
The minister claims that the visit in itself is not a problem. The problem is that the Parliament's speaker does not always manage to stay within the foreign policy line of Slovakia and the EU.
3. Jul 2019 at 13:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff