Opposition Demands National Security Strategy, SNS Harbours Reservations

Former Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) vice-chair and ex-defence minister Lubomir Galko (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 18 (TASR) – The opposition insists that the Parliament needs to debate the Security and Defence Strategy of the Slovak Republic, approved by the Government a year ago, which the House hasn’t discussed yet, TASR learnt on Thursday.

Head of parliamentary Defence Committee Anton Hrnko (Slovak National Party/SNS) conceded that the junior coalition party harbours reservations towards the document.

At the next House session, opposition lawmakers will attempt to re-submit the strategy. Since the new strategy is not definitively passed yet, Slovakia governs its policies by the document approved back in 2005.

It is SNS that blocks the passing of a security and defence strategy, according to the opposition. “SNS is known for its above-average ties to Russia. Threats originating from Russia are explicitly listed in the security strategy, where SNS lacked access. This is more problematic for them than the defence (strategy),” stated MP Lubomir Galko (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS). He added that it’s irresponsible for other coalition parties, Smer-SD and Most-Hid, to tacitly tolerate this unprecedented state out of fear of what the response from SNS might be.

In reaction, Hrnko claimed that 98 percent of security strategy content is acceptable, but despite this, SNS has objections to the document. “There are things unacceptable for SNS because SNS believes that Slovakia doesn’t have an enemy and doesn’t need to create enemies,” he claimed. The fact that the document was greenlighted by the Government, meaning it also received votes from SNS ministers, Hrnko attests to a failure in communication.

According to the opposition, hybrid warfare is part of everyday life in Slovakia, therefore, Bratislava needs a strategy to guide its defence. They also added that the fact that the document was passed by the Government but not the Parliament makes Slovakia look unconfident.