Ziga Rejects That Weapons from Slovakia Went to Middle East

Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 30 (TASR) – Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga (Smer-SD) after the Cabinet session on Wednesday rejected any involvement of Slovakia in the alleged discovery of weapons in the Middle East.

According to Ziga, the weapons and ammunition that were sent from Slovenia to Slovakia back in 2005 were properly decommissioned by the Military Repair Company (VOP) in Novaky (Trencin region). “I don’t understand why there are any doubts emerging,” said Ziga.

The Economy Ministry in the spring of 2005 granted a licence for the delivery of 132 rockets from a Slovenian firm to VOP. Ziga said that they were decommissioned in August of the same year, which could be proved by the invoice and the protocol. “Thousands of weapons of this batch number were created. Only 132 pieces of them were delivered to Slovakia; those were decommissioned and destroyed,” stated Ziga.

Ziga is pleading for people not to make a banana republic out of Slovakia, because everything works just as it should. “The Economy Ministry didn’t provide any export or re-export licence on this kind of ammunition and weapons,” said Ziga, stressing that the only two countries that have provided some information about these rockets were Slovakia and Slovenia and now they’re being punished for it. He thinks that it is strange.

The information about the rockets was reported by SME daily on Tuesday. The daily thus assumed that the Islamic State’s supply route starts in or leads through Slovakia. The daily was referring to findings by the Conflict Armament Research expert group which, funded by the European Commission, examines ammunition used in war zones in the Middle East.

The Czech Investigative Journalism Centre also said that some of the ammo found in Libya and Iraq has the same batch number as those from military storage houses in Slovenia. However, the daily hasn’t excluded the fact that such ammo could be stored in multiple former Yugoslav states, as the rockets originated in former Yugoslavia.