Korcok: Moscow’s Expulsion of Slovak Diplomats Reciprocal Symmetrical Move

(Stock photo by AP)

Bratislava, April 28 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok (an SaS nominee) stated at a press conference on Wednesday that he’s taken note of Moscow’s decision to expel three Slovak diplomats, remarking that it’s a case of symmetrical retaliation for Slovakia’s recent expulsion of three Russian diplomats, given the number of expelled employees and the amount of time that they were given to leave the country.

“Naturally, the operations of the Slovak embassy in Russia have taken a hit because the three colleagues who will have to leave Russia will be missed, but I believe that we’ll cope with it, just like in August last year [when Slovakia also expelled three Russian diplomats] and the Russians retaliated in a tit-for-tat manner. I’ll do my utmost to ensure that our embassy in Moscow operates properly,” said Korcok.

Korcok, who held the press conference alongside his Czech counterpart Jakub Kulhanek, noted that he’ll continue to be interested in the crisis in ties between Russia and the Czech Republic. According to the minister, Slovakia, by expelling Russian diplomats to show solidarity with the Czechs, stood on the right side. At the same time, Korcok claimed that the move was based on reports from Slovak intelligence services.

Moscow announced on Wednesday that it’s expelling three Slovak diplomats in retaliation for Bratislava’s recent decision to expel the same number of Russian diplomats. Slovakia’s move was aimed at expressing solidarity with the Czech Republic, which recently expelled 18 Russian diplomats, claiming that Russia was involved in an explosion in a Czech ammunition warehouse in 2014. Moscow retaliated in that case by expelling 20 staff members of the Czech embassy in Russia.