Slovak Foreign Ministry: Crimea still Ukrainian territory
Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry does not recognize the results of the illegal referendum in Crimea held in March 2014, in compliance with the common position of the EU member states and NATO.
“The annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation has violated the basic principles of international law and breached the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” reads the statement published on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website, according to the Slovak Spectator. “The Slovak Republic still considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory within its internationally recognised borders.”
The ministry stressed that one of the priorities of its upcoming chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to focus on solving the conflicts in Ukraine.
The publication of the statement coincided with the announced visit of Slovak MPs to Crimea. Although the initial reports suggested that deputies from the ruling parties Smer and the Slovak National Party (SNS) planned to attend the trip, in the end non-affiliated MP Peter Marcek was the only politician to leave Bratislava airport on July 31.
“It’s up to them how they will decide,” Marcek said prior to his departure, as quoted by the Sme daily. “They will either come or not.”
He was accompanied by former head of the Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency, Igor Cibula, a group of about 10 entrepreneurs and two journalists: former cameraman of the public-service broadcaster RTVS and owner of the Sity radio station, Rastislav Lehotsky, Sme wrote.
Marcek, who made it to parliament on the slate of Boris Kollar's Sme Rodina party, has refused to say which politicians originally planned to visit. When speaking to the journalists before boarding the plane, he seemed disappointed. He told the media that they obviously won, as Sme reported.
The announced visit to Crimea raised critical responses two weeks ago, also within the ruling coalition. Even though Marček stressed it was a private trip, Most-Híd said that it was unacceptable for MPs to go.
Neither Smer nor SNS officially knew about the plans of their members to participate, Sme wrote.
The only way to Crimea leads through Moscow. The flights are operated by Pobeda airlines. It is necessary to spend one night in Russia and then travel to the annexed peninsula, Sme wrote.
As UNIAN reported earlier, a 10-strong delegation of politicians and businessmen from Slovakia has arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea. According to Rambler, the delegates were to meet with the "head of Crimea," after which they were set to travel to the resort city of Yalta. The visit is scheduled to last until August 3.
As was earlier reported, Ukraine's Ambassador to Slovakia Yuriy Mushka warned a group of lawmakers from that country against visiting the occupied peninsula in violation of Ukrainian laws, yet, they did not give up their plans.