On the day when Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) was on an official visit to Ukraine, opposition MPs in parliament poured water on the Ukrainian flag.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Slovakia has asked for an apology.
The incident happened on February 8 when MPs met due to a parliamentary session during which the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the US was to be discussed and voted on.
When the discussion started, MPs of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) Peter Krupa and Andrej Medvecký unfolded the Slovak flag behind the speaker’s desk. At this moment, MPs of coalition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) Jana Bittó Cigániková and Miroslav Žiak unfolded the Ukrainian flag in front of them.
Opposition MP Medvecký reacted in the way that he poured water on Žiak and the Ukrainian flag. In those few moments, Žiak realised that the flag was upside down and when he was about to turn it, another ĽSNS MP Marek Kotleba approached him and yanked out the Ukrainian flag out of Žiak’s hands.
Slovakia will apologise in diplomaticly
The Ukrainian Embassy denounced the harsh treatment with their flag from the side of Marek Kotleba and Andrej Medvecký.
The embassy also said that Slovak MFA Korčok in Kyiv expresses the solid and unwavering position of Slovakia when supporting Ukraine.
Korčok later said from Kyiv that Slovakia will apologise to Ukraine in a diplomatic way. He added that several weeks of lasting hysteria and scaring people because of the DCA turned into rage of the opposition and extremists in parliament.
“I am sorry and I am ashamed even more because it happened during my negotiations in Kyiv,” Korčok wrote, adding that because of the DCA discussion, the symbols of our neighbour who is in a difficult situation are not touchable.
Korčok also informed that after he returns from Kyiv, he wants to join Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) in parliament and attend discussions which, however, “has nothing in common with normal and cultivated argumentation” from the side of opposition.
Korčok also added that with the DCA, it is not anymore about the agreement but also about “whether we want extremists with the assistance of the opposition to turn the foreign-policy direction of Slovakia.” Korčok noted that this is exactly what is happening in parliament.
Defence minister apologised to Ukraine too
Defence Minister Naď apologised to Ukraine earlier.
“As a citizen of Slovakia, I am ashamed of this inexcusable gesture and as a representative of the Slovak government, I together with my colleagues oppose such behaviour,” he wrote on Facebook. “I frankly apologise to Ukraine for a gesture on the part of the opposition, which has no parallel, nor place in our society.”