ua en ru

Slovakia wants Ukraine-Russia talks, Austria responds sharply

Slovakia wants Ukraine-Russia talks, Austria responds sharply Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar (GettyImages)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, Juraj Blanar, during a joint press conference with his Austrian colleague, has emphasized the need for Ukraine to engage in negotiations with Russia to end the war. However, his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, disagreed with the proposal, explaining the real threats to Europe.

Blanar noted that the current front line in Ukraine has become relatively static, and "peaceful solutions can now be seen in diplomatic negotiations."

"A peaceful solution is always difficult. But we must say that we need a ceasefire before peace talks," he said.

The head of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to Russia's war against Ukraine as a conflict, describing the current conditions on the front as a frozen phase. According to him, the authorities of their country see that the conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for over 600 days and "is not leading to any results."

At the same time, Blanar emphasized that the Slovak Republic will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine, but not in the military sphere.

"The ceasefire is, of course, our position, the position of the Slovak Republic," said the head of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, disagreed with the proposal of his Slovak colleague. He pointed out that the greatest threat to Europe currently comes from Russia. The cessation of war depends on Putin.

"Everyone wants peace… If Putin stops fighting, the war will end. If Ukraine stops fighting, it will be over with Ukraine. And then Slovakia may have a new neighbor," Schallenberg said.

Slovakia's stance on aid to Ukraine

As a NATO member, Slovakia is a center for the production of artillery ammunition and heavy military equipment, such as howitzers, some of which have been sent to Ukraine.

The previous government of the country strongly supported Ukraine and supplied military equipment, including combat vehicles, as well as S-300 air defense systems, MiG-29 aircraft, and howitzers.

The new Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, stated that Bratislava would not support providing military aid to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.

At the same time, Fico clarified that he has no intention of hindering the export of private defense companies.

Before that, the Slovak Parliament confirmed the government's plan, led by Fico, to cease military aid to Ukraine.