Prime Minister of Slovakia Igor Matovic, who has recently made a joke about Zakarpattia region, has apologized and said his country's position on Ukraine "has always been very clear."
"Slovakia's position on Ukraine's territorial integrity has always been very clear. Respect for international law is a must. Apologies to all Ukrainians for my inappropriate reaction which could undermine their just efforts," he wrote on Twitter on March 4, 2021.
The politician addressed in Ukrainian to President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba: "Slovakia is your friend."
- While speaking on the Radio Express local radio station, the Slovak prime minister said he had promised Ukraine's Zakarpattia region to Russia in exchange for the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, but later he explained he was joking.
- The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry immediately reacted to the relevant statement and called on that country to apologize. The diplomats said such statements have a negative impact on good-neighborly Ukrainian-Slovak relations.
- The next day, in a phone talk with his Ukrainian counterpart, the Slovak foreign minister apologized for the politician's "joke."