Hrnko: Slovakia Should Exercise Reason in Skripal Case

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SNS vice-chairman, and defense and security committee chair Anton Hrnko. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 26 (TASR) – Slovakia’s actions regarding the Skripal poisoning case should be guided by reason and governed by old Roman axiom Audiatur et Altera Pars (Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”), a principle that no party should be judged without been given a fair hearing first, Slovak National Party (SNS) vice-chair Anton Hrnko said on Monday.

Hrnko believes that Slovakia shouldn’t adopt rushed decisions with respect to Russia. “Our loyalty to allies and Euroatlantic cooperation cannot override our demand to base any retaliatory measures only on incontrovertible evidence and not allegations that might not be anchored in truth at all,” claimed Hrnko, adding that a number of European countries chose that path, too. “Even Slovakia should listen to the arguments of the other side first and take action later. It’s not our role to judge without evidence.”

According to Hrnko, the United Kingdom, which chose to leave EU, is vehemently demanding European solidarity in the matter even though it opted to deviate from usual practice and international conventions. “All it takes (for London) is to raise an accusation and we’re supposed to believe it. But even in the great city of London, they should realise that faith is the aspect of religion and not international relations,” he declared, adding that the claim starting with “in all likelihood” cannot serve as evidence.

Earlier in the day, the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry chose to summon the Russian Ambassador to Slovakia without delay and seek from him an explanation about the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s poisoning in the United Kingdom.

The Slovak Republic has unequivocally condemned the attack and has embraced the European Council resolution dated from March 22, in which EU member states declared their support for Great Britain. London ascribes guilt for the attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia to Russia. The United Kingdom has already expelled Russian diplomats from its borders, and another 14 EU member states plan to follow suit.