Slovakia’s Security Council summoned to discuss situation in Czechia

We need facts to adopt decision, Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok stressed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan KorčokForeign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (Source: TASR)

PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) has summoned a meeting of the Security Council following developments in the Czech Republic, which has expelled 18 Russian diplomats.

The decision came as a reaction to the allegations of Russian involvement in the deadly 2014 explosion in a Czech ammunition depot. Several Slovak officials, including the PM, the president and the foreign affairs and defence ministers, have expressed their support of the Czech Republic.

The Security Council will meet on Tuesday, April 20 at 13:00.

Facts first

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Slovakia will first need to collect and evaluate all facts before takingaction, stressed Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) at the April 19 press conference.

“We’d like to assure you that the response will be decisive, substantial and will prove our credibility towards our allies, in this case the Czech Republic,” he continued, stressing that Slovakia has above-standard relations with its western neighbour and would like to keep them.

Regarding the Security Council meeting, he expects intelligence services to bring to the table any information they have on the case. It should be the first exchange of opinions on where Slovakia stands in the event it decides to respond to the developments.

In this respect, Korčok mentioned earlier statements voiced by the country’s representatives, which offered unequivocal support for the Czech Republic.

“We’ll stand on the right side,” Korčok said.

He did not want to say whether the current developments will have any effect on the use of the Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik V in Slovakia, claiming that it is a separate issue and it is up to the health minister to decide on this matter.

A joint declaration

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Korčok commented on an earlier meeting of the EU foreign affairs minister, which took place on April 19. The minister has reiterated that Slovakia supports the Czech Republic, and stressed the importance of cooperation between the allied intelligence services.

Speaking to the press later in the afternoon, the Slovak foreign affairs minister said that Jan Hamáček, currently in charge of the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry, informed the other ministers of the current developments and the reasons for the expulsion of Russian diplomats. The EU foreign ministers have not discussed any collective response to the affair. The issue will also be discussed by the North Atlantic Council tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Korčok addressed the Visegrad Group (V4) leadership, proposing that the foreign affairs ministers of all four countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary) should sign a declaration supporting the Czech Republic. The proposal was accepted by all of them, and the declaration is expected to be signed soon.

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