Bratislava, July 11 (TASR) – Chairman of the opposition Smer-SD party Robert Fico on Saturday in Presov called on Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok (a Freedom and Solidarity/SaS nominee) to consider his continued tenure at the head of Foreign Affairs Ministry, TASR learnt on the same day.
The reason is the failure of the ministry, as the United Kingdom listed Slovakia among COVID-19 ‘at risk’ countries. The ministry rejects politically motivated criticism.
“This is a huge failure by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. It’s such a failure that the minister should consider remaining in office,” said Fico, pointing out that he exposed thousands of people who want to travel to Britain from Slovakia to an unpleasant process and procedures. He stressed that if someone wants to get to the United Kingdom from Slovakia, they’ll have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Fico criticised the diplomacy ministry for its inaction, and for the fact that instead of monitoring things, it dealt with Venezuela. At the same time, he accused Korcok of being too West-oriented in foreign policy. “We thought we’re guarding an important destination such as the UK 24 hours a day,” noted Fico. He considers it to be important to find out why Great Britain did not include Slovakia in the list of safe countries. He thinks that the UK doesn’t trust the Slovak Government.
In its statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that it strongly rejected the politically motivated criticism of Smer-SD representatives on this issue. “Every country, like Slovakia, takes its sovereign decisions, and we’ve also recently been a subject of criticism from other states for our restrictive measures. We aren’t responsible either for the fact that the head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee [Juraj Blanar (Smer-SD)] noticed the matter only after a week,” the ministry told TASR.
The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry doesn’t consider the decision of the United Kingdom not to include Slovakia among safe countries to be justified in view of the epidemiological situation in Slovakia. For this reason, the Slovak Foreign Ministry carried out repeated interventions, both in London and in Bratislava for the UK’s position be reconsidered. The British diplomacy has assured it will do its utmost in this matter, adding that, however, this is a decision of the British health authorities.
At the same time, the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry brings attention to the validity of the recommendation not to travel to Great Britain, which Slovak epidemiologists didn’t include among safe countries.