MFA: Slovak Interior Minister’s Transport Was Reason for Flyover of Poland

Slovak Government plane (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 31 (TASR) – Transporting the Slovak interior minister and delegation for a working trip to Russia was cited as the official reason in Slovakia’s request for a flyover of its Government plane over Polish territory, reads the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry’s answer to a question raised by the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, the committee vice-chair Martin Klus (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) told the media on Friday.

The first flyover request was delivered to the Polish side by Slovakia on July 25, a day before the departure. The Slovak Government Flying Service in the request cited the “transport of the minister for the internal security of Vietnam” as the reason for the flyover. On the next day it changed the request, giving “transport of the Slovak interior minister with a delegation for a working trip to Russia” as the reason for the flyover. “The flyover request doesn’t have to contain a complete list of names of all delegation members, only the main VIP person is listed,” stated the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry. Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD), who was serving as the interior minister at that time, said he wasn’t on board the plane.

The ministry confirmed that doubts concerning the correctness of the information provided by the Vietnamese side have created “serious tension” in the Slovak-Vietnamese relationship. The ministry pointed out that it summoned the Vietnamese ambassador to Slovakia twice, and it found that his explanation for the situation was unsatisfactory. It also called the Slovak ambassador from Hanoi home, leaving only the chargé d’affaires in Vietnam.

“The ministry repeatedly declared that it’s ready to take further measures in line with international law and diplomatic practices if it fails to get satisfactory explanations or if it shows that the Vietnamese side has misused Slovakia. We’re not changing this position,” stated the ministry.

According to Klus, it is possible that the parliamentary foreign affairs committee will deal with information included in the ministry’s answers at its next session due to take place on Tuesday, September 4.