The Russian ambassador to Bratislava has been summoned to the Slovak Foreign Ministry and reprimanded for publicly criticizing statements by a Slovak official concerning the illegal annexation of Crimea.
On February 26, Slovak State Defense Secretary Robert Ondrejcsak wrote that now, five years after the annexation of Crimea, “war is not taboo in Europe” and that “whether we want it or not, for the Russians we are the enemies”.
In a social network post, the Russian embassy to Slovakia responded that Ondrejcsak’s comments were “blatant incompetence”, “fictions and speculation”, and that due to such statements “Slovak society cannot feel safe”.
The post evoked intense criticism in Slovakia, even from Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, who said on 6 March that the Russian embassy’s statement had “gone beyond the norms of decency”, and announced that the Russian ambassador was being summoned. Other Slovak politicians accused the Russian embassy of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry reminded the Russian ambassador that “with respect to protecting security interests, Slovakia is extremely concerned by the violation of the fundamental principles of international law through parts of Ukraine’s territory being annexed to Russia on the basis of the illegitimate and illegal referendum in Crimea and Sevastopol”.
Slovakia fully and consistently respects the principles of the inviolability of state borders and compliance with international law, and in this context supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders, said Marian Jakuboci, director of the Foreign Ministry’s political section, while giving the Russian ambassador a diplomatic note on the matter.
Slovakia, like other EU and NATO member states, does not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea as legitimate. The republic opposes Russia’s aggression in the Donbas, and complies with the political sanctions that have been imposed on Moscow.