If the aggression against Ukraine is tolerated, we could be next

Of course Slovakia should be "helping Ukrainian insurgents", if it comes to that.

Ukrainian soldiers walking near Donetsk. Ukrainian soldiers walking near Donetsk. (Source: AP/TASR)

Ivan Mikloš is president of the MESA10 think tank and previously served as Slovakia's deputy prime minister and finance minister. He advised Ukraine's former prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman.

Although I have sometimes had cause before now to question whether Slovaks really deserve their freedom, independence and statehood, such doubts have never been as insistent as they have over the past few days.

The passionate, nationwide discussion about military cooperation with the US has been so absurd that I cannot even believe it is real.

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It is about whether we will create the conditions to allow our allies to be able, if needed, to protect our freedom, independence and statehood from an aggressor.

A clear and present danger

That aggressor is neither theoretical nor hypothetical, but one that just a few years ago attacked our eastern neighbour, annexed part of its territory and allowed separatists to occupy another part – territory that the separatists would long since have lost control of were it not for the help and succour of the aggressor.

Related article War in Ukraine would change Slovakia, too Read more 

It is an aggressor that attacked our neighbour despite a pledge that it had made 20 years earlier, to guarantee our neighbour's independence and territorial integrity, in exchange for our neighbour giving up and safely disposing of its nuclear weapons.

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It is an aggressor that did not content itself with taking control of part of our neighbour's territory, but continues to mass troops and threaten another, much more massive, aggression because our neighbour dared to choose its own direction and decide on its own future.

The aggressor does not even make a secret of its ambition to decide the future of our neighbour, and openly wants to dictate to us how we should, or should not, protect our own freedom, independence and statehood.

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