News digest: Slovakia supports Ukraine and condemns Kremlin's steps

Slovak ice-hockey players return home with Bronze medals. The US purchased a building in Bratislava but the embassy did not confirm the move.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, February 22 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Slovakia supports Ukrainian sovereignty and integrity

High-ranked Slovak representatives support the political sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

They stated the above as a response to the Kremlin's decision to recognise two separatist republics in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Slovak diplomacy branded the decision of Putin to recognise separatist republics as unacceptable and in contradiction with the principle of indivisibility of security, which the Russian government has been calling for.

PM Eduard Heger condemned the step as well as creating ground for further violence and hate.

"I respect the prudent attitude of Ukraine, which tries not to give Russian imperialism an excuse for invasion. It is thus protecting the lives of Ukrainians as well as Russians," he stated on Facebook.

President Zuzana Čaputová said that Russia’s recognition of the so-called people’s republics "trashes years of efforts to solve the conflict Moscow has created."

Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Ukraine has no right to its own existence, calling it unacceptable.

“We’re witnessing a situation where 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.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 13,420 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 25,569 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals is 2,717 people. 27 more deaths were reported on Monday. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • The national emergency in Slovakia is over as of today. The government declared it to 90 days at the end of November 2021 due to the pandemic situation and it was not prolonged.
  • The arrival of Novavax vaccines in Slovakia will be delayed. They were originally expected in Slovakia on February 21. A new estimated date will be given by the end of the week.
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Photo of the day

Slovak ice-hockey players have returned from the Olympics in Beijing where they won bronze medals. After riding around the capital in a roofless bus, they greeted their fans and celebrated with them at SNP Square in Bratislava.

Feature story for today

Slovakia is not ready for the challenges of the 21st century, but nobody really is, says Vladimír Šucha, the new head of the European Commission’s office in Bratislava.

In this interview, he shares his views on how well Slovakia is prepared for the challenges posed by digital transformation and what it has yet to learn about European solidarity.

Money is poor glue, we need shared values to hold us together (interview) Read more 

In other news

  • General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka cancelled a part of the bribing charge towards entrepreneur Štefan Žiga, using paragraph 363, which the General Prosecutor’s Office used to cancel accusations against Vladimír Pčolinský and Jaroslav Haščák. Štefan Žiga is family relative to former economy and environment minister Peter Žiga (now Hlas, then Smer). Štefan Žiga now faces accusations only for one deed.
  • The Security Council will meet in the Czech Republic on Wednesday and soldiers could be transferred to Slovakia, said Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová. She said that Romania is also one option being considered. The government and both chambers of the parliament have to approve it first. (TASR)
  • The budgetary council expects inflation growth to 7.6 percent this year. This is more than analysts of the Finance Ministry have estimated recently – they expected 6 percent. Growth of Slovak economy will speed up to 3.5 percent from last year’s 3 percent, according to council.
  • The Slovak Academy of Sciences is concerned about the growth of intolerance and aggression in society. The academy also published the announcement at its website supported by most of the statutory representatives, where it calls on Ľuboš Blaha, currently opposition politician of Smer, to immediately end his activities in the academy. Blaha wrote in a response on Facebook that he will not be chased away. Blaha works at the Institute of Political Science of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
  • Antonino Vadala, an Italian businessman with ties to the Calabrian mafia ´Ndrangheta, was released last Friday from prison in Turin, Italy, reported Italian newspaper Il fatto quotidiano. Vadala was imprisoned for smuggling cocaine from South America to Italy and Slovakia. He was sentenced to nine years and four months. He was released from prison because the court overturned the sentence for drug smuggling. Vadala lived in eastern Slovakia for 14 years. (Sme)
  • Local party Team Bratislava, extra-parliamentary party Progressive Slovakia and coalition party Freedom and Solidarity will run together in the autumn municipal election. The parties will support Mayor Matúš Vallo and chair of Bratislava Self-Governing Region, Juraj Droba, whom both would like to be re-elected. Together, they will also create an electoral list for councillors and they will have their own candidates as mayors of Bratislava boroughs.
  • The US has bought a building in Bratislava at the corner of Dostojevského Rad Street and Olejkárska Street, showed data available at the cadastre. This locality was mentioned as the one in past years where the US Embassy could move from Hviezdoslavovo Square. The Embassy did not confirm whether they are moving into the building.

Do not miss on today

Kitchen waste collection to help Bratislava reduce its CO2 footprint Read more  A once-banned film chosen as Slovakia's film of the century Read more  Problems with EU funds: regional governors complain about the ministry in Brussels Read more 

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