Danko: Russian to Be Taught at Primary Schools as Optional Subject

Parliamentary chair Andrej Danko (stock photo by TASR)

Moscow/Bratislava, November 14 (TASR-correspondent) – The Russian language will be taught as an optional subject in Slovakia as early as at primary school, with Slovak experts due to familiarise themselves more closely with the Russian curriculum, which includes the study of chess, said Parliamentary Chair Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) at Russian-Slovak parliamentary delegation talks on Tuesday.

Also broached at the meeting were options for Russian-Slovak actor and student exchange programmes.

According to Danko, these steps are designed to contribute towards better communication between the two Slavic nations. “I for one think that in terms of our history we’re predestined for this. There’s a plethora of people in Slovakia who still enjoy a quality command of Russian, and I believe that the only way to bring our nations closer is to engage in constant communication and talk our problems through, if there are any between us. On a personal note, I don’t see as many of them in relation to the Russian Federation as some others might,” claimed Danko.

In light of the fact that the upper house of the Russian Parliament (Federation Council) is made up of federal subjects of the Russian Federation, Danko underlined the importance of regional cooperation with Russia.

Russian Federation Council chairperson Valentina Matviyenko thanked Slovakia for cooperation “even at a time of difficult relations between Russia and the EU”. “Both Russian firms in Slovakia and Slovak firms in Russia have an interest in broader cooperation,” she stated, adding that another issue discussed was cooperation in culture and education. Specific agreements were arrived at on the same day between Slovak Education Minister Martina Lubyova and her Russian counterpart Olga Vasiliev. Matviyenko expressed appreciation for the option of introducing extended study of Russian in Slovakia.

“We extended our gratitude to representatives of the Slovak Republic but also to ordinary people for their caring attitude towards the graves of Russian soldiers who fell during the liberation of Slovakia [in WWII]. We also expressed thanks for the fact that history isn’t twisted in Slovakia but is presented objectively,” said Matviyenko.

On Wednesday [November 15], Danko is set to become the first Slovak politician ever to address the lower house of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma.