Fico: Slovakia Won’t Break Up EU over Sanctions against Russia

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Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at a press conference after the EU summit in Bratislava in mid-September. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 18 (TASR) – When it comes to sanctions against Russia, Slovakia won’t go against the joint EU attitude, even though it itself considers the sanctions to be pointless, said Prime Minister Robert Fico at a session of the parliamentary European affairs committee on Tuesday.

Fico was responding to a question from Peter Osusky (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) concerning Slovakia’s attitude towards possible further sanctions against Russia for its alleged bombing of civilians in Syria.

“Slovakia is an EU-member country, and it won’t go against the united stance of the Union. I expect a passionate debate on sanctions. Several countries realise that they don’t lead to anything, however. The EU’s unity comes first for me at the moment, and our attitudes will peel off from this,” said Fico, adding that sanctions haven’t resolved anything concerning Ukraine.

Fico, according to his own words, speaks frankly to his foreign counterparts concerning sanctions, but he doesn’t want to disintegrate the EU over the matter.

The prime minister also rejected President Andrej Kiska’s comments on the Visegrad Four/V4 (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and its allegedly poor image in Europe due to its stance on migrants.

“I can’t agree with the president’s opinion on the V4. If it weren’t for the V4, we’d now have mandatory [migrant] quotas in Slovakia and we wouldn’t be able to defend our positions concerning gas. I don’t understand this attitude,” said Fico.

Also at the committee session, Fico reported on the planned European Council session in Brussels on October 20-21, which is due to focus on CETA, among other things. The Slovak premier noted that all EU countries have agreed with the content of this trade agreement with Canada.

“There are three countries that have certain reservations – Belgium, Romania and Bulgaria – but it largely concerns other than content problems vis-a-vis the agreement,” added Fico, adding that he doesn’t see any reason why Romania and Bulgaria shouldn’t be accepted into the Schengen area.

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