07. 06. 2019 12:35
On Thursday, the Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) in Banska Bystrica this year. During his meeting with Putin, Pellegrini also stated that Slovakia was not rewriting history. "We value and do not doubt the role of the Red Army in liberating [Slovakia] during WWII," stressed Prime Minister. Putin stated that traditionally good relations between both countries are reflected in their economic relations. He also confirmed that previous agreements on Russian gas flows would stay in effect.
Opposition MPs Jan Budaj and Jaroslav Nad criticised the Prime Minister for his visit to Russia at a news conference on Thursday held in reaction to celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings at which Slovakia was represented by Deputy Prime Minister Richard Rasi. According to opposition MPs, Pellegrini made a mistake when it comes to Slovakia's foreign-political orientation and President Andrej Kiska should have fixed it. Jaroslav Nad noted that Pellegrini had been invited to Portsmouth and initially said that he would attend. "However, he subsequently obtained a date from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin [to visit Russia], which is also a fact, and this fact was intentional," stressed Nad. Budaj noted that the Slovak Parliament was not represented either at the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the end of totalitarianism in Poland, to mark the beginning of parliamentary systems in eastern Europe. At the time, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko was on an official visit to Belarus, meeting its President Alexander Lukasenko and paying historically the first official visit by the Slovak Speaker of Parliament in Belarus.
Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak sees the commentaries on the presence-non-presence of Slovakia as deliberate. He refuses accusations that Pellegrini's visit should cast doubts on the values pursued by the Slovak Republic. Present at the special ceremony held in Portsmouth on Wednesday were US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel among others. It was also attended by Queen Elisabeth II.