Home Featured Czechs burn bridge with Moscow-boosting Slovaks – POLITICO
Czechs burn bridge with Moscow-boosting Slovaks – POLITICO

Czechs burn bridge with Moscow-boosting Slovaks – POLITICO

by host

On March 2, days before Fiala canceled the informal retreats, Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanár met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Turkey. Fico reported the pair discussed “the possibilities that may arise at a planned peace summit in Switzerland,” and said the meeting with Lavrov expressed “our balanced and sovereign Slovak foreign policy toward all sides.”

In late February, at an informal meeting of regional leaders dubbed the Visegrád Four, Fico and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban — who favor peace talks and fault Ukraine for the war — lined up against Fiala and his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, who both support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

“I think I can say there are differences among us,” Fiala said.

This past weekend, Fico noted the withdrawal of an Italian air defense system from Slovakia and asked who would protect the country’s nuclear reactors. Czech Minister for European Affairs Martin Dvořák shot back, “He should ask Putin, if they’re such great friends and it’s so necessary to rehabilitate [the Russian president], maybe Russia would offer its protection.”

For its part, the foreign ministry in Bratislava has summoned Dutch ambassador Gabriella Sancisi over a debate her embassy is organizing Thursday in Prague on the political situation in Slovakia. The ministry criticized the decision to invite diplomats from every EU country — but not Slovakia.

“The Slovak foreign ministry rejects such interference with the internal affairs of the Slovak Republic,” the ministry said in a press statement.

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