Slovakia and Ukraine shake hands at Michalovce

The April 11 meeting of Slovak and Ukrainian decision-makers in the city of Michalovce in the eastern part of the Slovak Republic made it clear that fear, prejudices have to be put aside, people should be brought together, bureaucratic obstacles should be removed and one will find that difficult decisions can be made. This is stated in a message of the Slovak Embassy in Chisinau, which was expressly sent to IPN Agency to publicize the decision to strengthen the mutual cooperation between the two countries.

The Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Robert Fico, is quoted as asking his cabinet ministers “to take into account the gravity of tasks the members of the Ukrainian government have to deal with compared to their Slovak counterparts. Let them abstain from the typical bureaucratic approach that sometimes prevents us from taking quick decisions in Slovakia. I think we succeeded, because not only today, but also doing the preparation of joint documents, the most important of which is the joint road map, we showed that we are interested in being good neighbors,” added the Slovak Prime Minister.

During the meeting, as the Slovak Embassy stipulates, Robert Fico reiterated that the use of military force in Ukraine was a gross violation of international law and emphasized that Ukraine needs help and solidarity. He called the end of the war as soon as possible and the establishment of peace a priority. In this context, he offered Ukrainian partners maximum cooperation in the search for peaceful solutions, such as the upcoming international summit in Switzerland. The Slovak Prime Minister also once again expressed support for Ukraine’s interest in becoming a member of the European Union.

On concrete topics, it was agreed to improve the energy connection on the Mukachevo - Velké Kapusany route. The partners also discussed the need to diversify gas imports to Europe and the Slovak contribution to demining Ukrainian territories, health care for people affected by the war, refurbishment of Vysné Nemecké border crossing point, establishment of a railway direct connection between Kyiv and Košice.

The sides also negotiated the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. In this context, Robert Fico stated that Slovakia will provide transitional corridors for export of Ukrainian agricultural products to countries that need them. “However, I explained to the Prime Minister how important it is to protect the interests of Slovak farmers, and unless a joint solution is found, a ban on import of 14 agricultural products will continue to apply,” he said, describing the meeting of members of the Slovak and Ukrainian governments as highly constructive.

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