Slovakia cannot accept several of Russia's demands linked with the situation in Ukraine.
Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) made the above statement after the Tuesday (January 25) meeting of the government's Security Council.
The council is to reconvene for further discussions on the development in Ukraine on Wednesday. The council members will receive complete military and intelligence briefing to get acquainted with the defence plans Slovakia has developed in regard to the situation involving its eastern neighbour.
Though Korčok agrees with Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) that the situation is extremely serious, he still sees room for a diplomatic solution.
"This is the most serious situation in the last 30 years, but it is not unresolvable," said Korčok. "There is the threat of a real conflict."
Naď said that about 130,000 members of the Russian Armed Forces are gathering at Ukraine's eastern borders with military technology that is “not only of defence character.” Some of the technology has a range that would allow Russia to interfere with Slovakia’s territory, the minister added. These are missiles and air defence systems.
“I dare say, and this is how we presented it at the negotiation of the Security Council, that in terms of the European continent the situation is maybe the worst since the end of WWII,” Naď emphasised.
War would mean refugees arriving from Ukraine
Slovakia's Defence Ministry has prepared defence plans. Minister Naď noted that the consequences for Slovakia might be significant, even if there is no direct military threat to the country. The ministers said that they trust Slovakia will avoid deploying its armed forces.
Naď explained that even a limited attack on Ukraine would lead to tens of thousands of people crossing the Slovak-Ukrainian border. Slovakia is ready to deploy all its available forces and resources at the eastern border, he added.
In the event of war, Ukrainians would have a different status to the migrants crossing the borders now. They would be war refugees.
"Any crisis of a military nature in Ukraine has a direct reflection on the situation in Slovakia," Naď said.
Notwithstanding the preparations, the head of Slovak diplomacy, Ivan Korčok, still believes that this conflict can be resolved by diplomatic means.
Korčok repeated his stance from the day before that withdrawing Slovak diplomats from Ukraine would be premature. Neither does the ministry see any reason to warn Slovak citizens before travelling to Ukraine.