Lajcak Departs for Ukraine as OSCE Chairman

Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (photo by TASR)

Bratislava/Kiev, January 15 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak has departed on a two-day working visit to Ukraine, his first visit to an OSCE conflict region as OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

On the first day Lajcak will hold talks with senior Ukrainian political representatives including Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and President Petro Poroshenko.

In the afternoon Lajcak will leave for Kharkiv, where he’ll meet Governor of Kharkiv Oblast Yuliya Svitlychna. Along with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin and representatives of Kharkiv administration he’ll open a Slovak honorary consulate in the city.

On Wednesday (January 16), accompanied by representatives of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the minister will visit the line of contact in Luhansk Oblast in the east of the country. He’ll learn about the current security and humanitarian situation and the activities undertaken by the mission. At the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint Lajcak will visit a first-aid tent. In the nearby city of Sievierodonetsk Lajcak will meet Klimkin and representatives of Luhansk Oblast administration, before handing over humanitarian aid from Slovakia to a children’s clinic at Luhansk Oblast hospital, which is located in Lysychansk, near the line of conflict.

One of the priorities of Slovakia’s presidency of the OSCE in 2019 is efforts to resolve the Ukrainian conflict and to mitigate the effects it has on the civilian population. Slovak diplomacy also seeks to help restore the political dialogue between Russia and Ukraine.