Blanar: Smer Will Demand Impact Study Concerning EU's Next Package of Sanctions

Blanar: Smer Will Demand Impact Study Concerning EU's Next Package of Sanctions
Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar (Smer-SD)

Bratislava, November 18 (TASR) - Speaking on RTVS's discussion programme 'Saturday Dialogues', Foreign Affairs Minister Juraj Blanar (Smer-SD) claimed that when it comes to the EU's twelfth package of sanctions against Russia, Smer will demand an impact study of its effects not only on the Union, but also on Slovakia itself.

"A red line for us is that the sanctions mustn't include nuclear fuel because [Slovak] nuclear power plants haven't been sufficiently transformed yet to be able to operate with alternative fuel [i.e. with fuel not originating from Russia - ed. note]," said Blanar, noting that the EU's has been clearly listening to Slovakia in this regard.

Blanar's opponent on the show, Progressive Slovakia MP Tomas Valasek, concurred with Blanar on the issue concerning nuclear fuel, opining that if the sanctions dealt with the import of nuclear fuel from Russia, any Slovak government would veto the package. "When we don't have an alternative, we need to negotiate an alternative," Valasek remarked. Nevertheless, the MP defended previous sanctions packages against Russia, noting that they have prevented Russia from arming its armed forces in a manner in which it could have done it without them.

Blanar countered by stating that Russia hasn't been stopped by the sanctions policy, adding that the sanctions had more impact on businesses in the EU, including Slovak ones.

Speaking on a related note, the minister claimed that Smer supports financial aid for Ukraine, but under certain conditions. According to Blanar, financial support for Ukraine must be spent on what it is intended for and the money mustn't "disappear".