The situation in Ukraine is tense, but there might still be a diplomatic solution, said Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) during the January 26 session of the Security Council.
The aim of the meeting was to assess the situation on the eastern border of Ukraine comprehensively and discuss the potential consequences for Slovakia.
“I expect that given the situation, the Security Council will meet more frequently,” Korčok said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Apart from the council members, the Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (Sme Rodina), chair of the parliamentary defence and security committee Juraj Krúpa (OĽaNO), and the representatives of intelligence agencies were present at the session.
As Korčok said that they are expecting a scenario where a potential war conflict in Ukraine would result in an influx of migrants.
Activities of Russian armed forces intensive
Korčok went on to say that there is still room to solve the situation in Ukraine in a diplomatic manner, which is what Slovakia and NATO are attempting.
“These efforts make sense,” he said, as quoted by TASR. “We’re doing nothing other than protecting Slovakia.”
Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) said the members of the Security Council and constitutional officials were informed about what is happening outside the Ukrainian border.
“The activities of the Russian armed forces are intensive, also in areas you wouldn’t expect,” he said, referring to countries in the Mediterranean area, the UK, Ireland and Norway.
Čaputová and Heger respond
The security situation in our region is worsening, commented President Zuzana Čaputová, citing the situation at the Ukraine-Russia border, and the talks between NATO and Russia.
“I feel very bad that despite our openness and continuing diplomatic efforts, which I consider the only good way of finding solution to the current situation, the January talks with Russia did not result in mitigating tensions; but more the opposite,” she wrote on Facebook on January 25.
She considers dialogue with Russia necessary, as we share one security space where everybody, big and small states alike, wants to live in safety. She supported the steps both NATO and the EU have adopted so far, including an offer to continue in the dialogue with Russia and supporting Ukraine, as well as strengthening Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.
“However, we need to strengthen our own Slovak readiness in the event the situation east of our border continues deteriorating and Russia attacks Ukraine again,” she said, adding that nobody wishes for this to happen, but it would be irresponsible not to prepare for such a possibility.
PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) has stressed on several occasions that the threat towards Ukraine is a threat towards Slovakia as well, since the two are immediate neighbours. It is necessary to de-escalate the tension and return to negotiations, he added.
“On behalf of Slovakia, I can reiterate our unchanged attitude: we support sovereignty, territorial integrity and, of course, the independence of Ukraine,” Heger said, as quoted by TASR, noting that Slovak diplomacy supports dialogue with Russia. “It’s necessary to prevent any conflict.”
The prime minister went on to say that it is necessary to secure the protection and safety of people in Slovakia, particularly after receiving information that Russia is strengthening its presence, along with technology that can reach Slovak territory, as reported by TASR.