Korcok: Slovak NATO Membership Serves Slovak Interests

Korcok: Slovak NATO Membership Serves Slovak Interests

Bratislava, September 24 (TASR) – Slovakia’s NATO membership is not about serving American interests, as the narrative purposefully fed to Slovaks by some politicians and disinformation campaigns suggest, but it’s exclusively about serving the interests of Slovakia, chief of Slovak diplomacy Ivan Korcok (an SaS nominee) emphasised during his address to Parliament on Thursday.
Korcok unveiled the Slovak Foreign and European Policy 2020 to the legislators and outlined the priorities of Slovak diplomacy.

In his address, Korcok touched also on ties with the USA. “Let me give you a quote: “The USA was instrumental in helping Slovaks in 1918 shake off their yoke of oppression” [in leaving the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forming Czechoslovakia-ed.note]. You might think this quote could be attributed to me, the person some of you say is taking his marching orders from Washington. No. This was said by the man whose bust you pass by each day when you enter Parliament: Andrej Hlinka,” he declared.

Korcok pointed out that any public debate on the United States has shifted into a strange context in Slovakia. “Even the so-called mainstream politicians are afraid to talk about the USA as our strategic partner and ally. That’s no longer fashionable,” he claimed.

However, the root of the problem does not lie in the factual criticism of the USA and its foreign policy. “That’s heard everywhere in Europe and anyone who listens to what I have to say knows that I don’t approve of some steps taken by the US administration in the context of foreign affairs. But the problem lies elsewhere. Unfortunately, even in Slovak politics, not to mention the disinformation scene, antipathy against the USA is purposefully fuelled,” said Korcok, adding that the United States guarantees Slovak defence. “This calls into question why this is happening against a country, with which Slovaks never had any negative historical experience – unlike their experiences with some other states, towards which positive emotions are nurtured, even though those are nothing but romantic delusions.”

As for ties with Russia, Korcok claimed that he will do his utmost to develop relations with Moscow in a way that benefits Slovak interests. “Unfortunately, ties with Russia have shifted into an emotional dimension in Slovakia lately… Therefore, we need to recalibrate the perception of the ties with Russia into more factual light, be aware of our interests but also problems and differences in stances. We understand that Russia pursues its own interests, but what we cannot overlook is the way that Russia realises them. If we have objections, we are forced to and will respond, even though, let me repeat, our primary aim is to develop good mutual bilateral ties,” Korcok told the House.