The recent events in Ukraine create an opportunity to “start our own self-reflection,” according to Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee).
“I hope they will be the beginning of the end of geopolitical disorientation for a great portion of Slovak society,” Korčok told the February 22 press conference.
It is also an opportunity to push to the edge the part of Slovakia's political scene that has been trivialising the situation in the Ukraine in the past weeks. This includes politicians who did not hesitate to earn political points on undermining our own defence and security.
“If anybody apologises and trivialises the aggression against Ukraine, they openly undermine Slovak sovereignty and statehood,” he stressed.
Violating international laws
By recognising the two separatist republics in the Donbas region, Russia severely violated both international laws and its own international pledges, Korčok continued.
He cited several documents, including the UN Charter and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, where Russia promised to respect the independence, sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine, claiming that with its recent steps, it de facto breached these promises.
At the same time, Russia made it impossible to apply the principles in the Minsk Protocol, an agreement which sought to end war in the Donbas region after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. According to these documents, Ukraine pledged to recognise the special status of Donetsk and Luhansk, but under condition that its sovereignty will be restored and the country will be able to control its own borders.
Korčok was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Ukraine has no right for its own existence, calling it unacceptable.
“We’re witnessing a situation when the border and existence of a European country is explained and denied through historical claims. This is extremely dangerous,” Korčok told the press, adding that in the past, many currently independent countries were part of some bigger states or formations that gradually ceased to exist.
Moreover, there have been certain principles adopted that recognise the existence of the individual countries. One of them even claims that the existing borders can be changed only if there is an agreement between all parties involved.
Even though he still prefers diplomatic solutions to the current conflict, it is necessary to show Russia there are certain boundaries, Korčok said. He added that the EU foreign affairs ministers will discuss today at 16:00 the sanctions against Russia.