Bratislava, June 3 (TASR) – Economy Minister Richard Sulik (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) failed to make use of an opportunity to agree better conditions for Slovakia in connection with the EU embargo on Russian oil imports, thereby damaging Slovakia, MP Gyorgy Gyimesi (OLaNO) told a news conference on Friday, calling on Sulik to resign.
According to Gyimesi, Sulik’s failure might result in a planned investment in Slovnaft refinery being scrapped, higher prices or a lack of fuel, or even the shutdown of the refinery.
“Richard Sulik is a lazy dilettante who has no place in the post of economy minister. Richard Sulik is the one who has ensured that Slovnaft might close down in 18 months,” stated Gyimesi, accusing the minister of failing to prepare documents for Premier Heger’s (OLaNO) negotiations at the EU that wouldn’t have harmed Slovakia.
The approved EU sanction package envisages a ban on imports of Russian oil and products produced from it. After the transitional period of 18 months, the Bratislava-based refinery will no longer be able to export its products and will have to reduce production below the technological minimum, or start processing other than Russian oil, but it won’t be able to prepare for the respective technological change in such a short time.
Gyimesi denied that the premier was responsible for the results of the negotiations. According to him, Heger accepted Slovakia’s stance on the new sanction package approved by Sulik. Gyimesi didn’t say whether or not he’ll collect MPs’ signatures to initiate a special parliamentary session aimed at Sulik’s ouster.
Meanwhile, the Government Office said in response that Prime Minister Eduard Heger negotiated for Slovakia in Brussels that Slovakia won’t be left without oil; it will flow from Russia until we have a full-fledged alternative. In the event of any discrepancies, the premier advised the MP to talk to the minister first and then to the media.
“At the negotiations at the level of leaders, the prime minister follows the negotiations of respective ministers, in this case the Economy Ministry. Each ministry should act in such a way that it is always in Slovakia’s interests and for the time being the premier doesn’t know that we would have been acting to the detriment of our interests,” said premier’s spokeswoman Lubica Janikova.