Heger: Europe Cannot Use Defensive Rhetoric Towards Russia

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Slovak Premier Eduard Heger (photo by TASR)

Brussels/Bratislava, March 24 (TASR) – Europe cannot use defensive language vis-a-vis Russia, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) said before the European Council (EC) summit in Brussels on Thursday, adding that the democratic world is the strongest region in the world and should treat Russia accordingly. TASR gained Heger’s statements from the EC’s official live stream.

“I’ve been saying it since the very beginning that Europe can no way use defensive rhetoric. We, the democratic world, are the strongest part of the world and thus we have to act sovereignly and show [Russian President] Vladimir Putin that he has crossed all the red lines by attacking the democratic sovereign country of Ukraine,” said Heger.

Heger praised conclusions of Thursday’s NATO summit, at which member states decided to continue supporting Ukraine. He noted that Slovakia will “help Ukraine with military equipment”, including the S-300 system if it gets permanent replacement for it from its allies.

Slovakia will lobby at the summit for Brussels to help Ukraine set up a reform team after the war, said Heger, adding this would be a “strong signal” for Ukraine’s European prospects, as “it needs to see that we still count on it and want it in the European community”.

Slovakia also brings to the summit the issue of exchange of Ukrainian hryvnias for euros, as it must be addressed primarily by the European Commission, stated Heger.