News digest: Slovakia prepares to return diplomats to Kyiv

Half the people in Slovakia are unsatisfied with the EU's response to the war in Ukraine. Interior Ministry urgently looks for the replacement of Russian helicopters.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Tuesday, April 12 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Ukraine did not ask Slovakia for Mig-29 fighter jets

In an interview with the Sme daily PM Eduard Heger suggested that Slovak MiG-29 fighter jets could be sent to Ukraine. Slovakia donated S-300 air-defence system to Ukraine last week.

“If this technology can serve somewhere, it should be Ukraine,” he told Sme, adding that Slovakia cannot use the jets to the same extent as in the past.

Later, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) specified that Ukraine did not ask Slovakia to offer Mig-29 fighter jets and that is why the government is not negotiating their sending to Ukraine.

He added that Ukrainians have asked for Zuzana howitzers and the repair of their military technology in Slovakia. This is the issue under current handling.

The minister would like to, however, ground the MiGs as soon as possible. He is negotiating with NATO on the protection of Slovak air space and expects an answer soon.

Only when Slovakia settles the protection of air space will it consider the future of the MiG fighter jets.

Half the people in Slovakia dissatisfied with the EU's response to war in Ukraine

Every second person in Slovakia is dissatisfied with how the EU is responding to the war in Ukraine. At the same time, 45 percent said that they are satisfied, shows a poll carried out by the Focus agency for the EC Representation in Slovakia.

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The result follows the polarisation of society, opined sociologist Michal Vašečka.

“Those dissatisfied with the response support the opposition and are following what they hear from leaders they trust," he said. "This can be generally said about the coalition as well.”

Vašečka opines that people who expect the EU to introduce stricter sanctions against Russia might be among the dissatisfied.

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Refugees from Ukraine

  • 324,133 refugees have crossed the Slovak-Ukrainian border since the war in Ukraine started; 65,972 people have asked for temporary protection in Slovakia so far.
  • Currently, 54 patients from Ukraine are hospitalised in Slovakia, mainly oncological and traumatological patients, said Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský (OĽaNO nominee). He also added that 75 oncological patients are being treated in Slovakia, 70 being adults and five being children.
  • An evacuation centre for the temporary accommodation of refugees from Ukraine opened in Bratislava's Old Town over the weekend. The centre can accept 50 people. In addition to accommodation and food, refugees will receive personal hygiene items.
  • Three specialised health centres for refugees from Ukraine are currently operating in Slovakia – one in Košice and two in Bratislava. They should be established in other hospitals: Košice, Prešov, Banská Bystrica, Žilina and Bratislava.

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Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • 3,014 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 10,426 PCR tests performed on Monday. The number of people in hospitals is 1,653. 23 more deaths were reported on Monday. The vaccination rate is at 51.28 percent, 2,820,670 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • People under quarantine or isolation due to Covid could vote in the autumn regional and municipal elections. The government approved the proposal of a law on a special way of voting in these elections.
  • The pandemic measures will stay in place during the Easter holiday, the Health Ministry confirmed. The reason is that substantial amounts of people will meet, for example, in church. After the holiday, it will be decided whether to keep the wearing of respirators.

Photo of the day

Spring arrived to Medical Garden in Bratislava. Magnolias are blooming.

Interview for today

Slovak nuclear plants rely on fuel from Russia. Slovakia now has enough of it to last for at least a year. What then? We have other options, says nuclear physicist MARTIN VENHART.

However, it's not easy to change a fuel supplier. The physicist discusses the current situation in Ukrainian nuclear plants, the threat of nuclear weapons, and even why he wouldn't visit Chernobyl.

Nuclear physicist: Nuclear weapon threats cannot be taken lightly Read more 

In other news

  • The job portal has reported a record: almost 33,000 published vacancies in March. Employers are mainly looking for people in the trade, manufacturing and information technology sectors. The most offers were added in the Bratislava Region, the least in the Prešov Region. Compared to January last year, the number of job opportunities has doubled.
  • Construction in Slovakia has increased in a y-o-y comparison by 13.3 percent, the most since January 2018. But has not reached the level before the pandemic.
  • Slovakia is preparing for the return of diplomats to Kyiv. In the coming days, Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) wants to send an inspection team of Slovak diplomats to the Ukrainian capital to assess the security situation in the Ukrainian capital. If the situation allows, the Slovak embassy will start functioning immediately.
  • Hotels and boarding houses in Slovakia were visited by a quarter of a million guests in February, which according to statistics is 8.5 times more than a year ago. However, it was still only half the number of visitors compared to pre-pandemic February 2020.
  • Cooperating witnesses Ľudovít Makó and Boris Beňa remain at large, decided the Regional Court in Bratislava. The verdict is valid.
  • New aircraft should immediately replace two Russian Mi-171 helicopters under the operation of the Interior Ministry. Assumed costs have been estimated to €25 million. The proposal was approved by the government.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová along with representatives of the Union of Towns of Slovakia agreed that it is necessary to help people in material need. The government should accept measures to help people in a bad social situation with a repeated, directed allowance, she said.

Do not miss on today

Another 900 NATO troops could arrive in Slovakia Read more  Little heroes learn how to save their grandparents Read more  Canoeing the Latorica is like being in a rainforest Read more 

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