New Slovak PM Fico Launches Foreign Policy With Promise of First Visit to Czech Republic
New Slovak PM Robert Fico with the leaders of his coalition partners. Credit: Robert Fico, via Facebook.
Bratislava, Oct 31 (CTK) – New Slovak prime minister Robert Fico wants to visit the Czech Republic for his first trip as prime minister, he told journalists yesterday, while inaugurating new foreign minister Juraj Blanar.
By modern tradition, new heads of state or of government in the Czech Republic and Slovakia pay their first official visits to the other country.
Fico, the winner of the September elections, visited the European Union summit in Brussels last week as the newly appointed prime minister.
The prime minister wants to visit the Czech Republic first, followed by Germany, Hungary and Poland, according to the Sme newspaper. Fico has also expressed interest in visiting China or Vietnam in the context of supporting the Slovak economy.
“I will make bilateral visits only when it makes sense and when I feel that the political support for the project in the country in question will also be implemented into concrete results,” he said.
Fico stressed the importance of cooperation within the Visegrad Four (V4, made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).
“When we go to revise the EU budget, V4 cooperation is important above all,” he said.
During the introduction of the new foreign minister, Fico and Blanar both said that the country’s foreign policy direction would not change and Slovakia would continue to fulfil all its obligations as a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“One thing I can definitely confirm is a sovereign foreign policy that will take into account national and state interests above all,” Blanar said, adding that Slovakia would not agree to any proposals in the EU or NATO that would have a negative impact on the Slovak people.
According to Sme, Blanar added that Slovakia will only support the upcoming 12th package of sanctions against Russia if it is preceded by serious analysis of the impact, not only on the EU but also on Slovakia.
Fico said he does not want foreign policy that is “conservative, cumbersome and unable to present Slovak national interests”. He stressed that Bratislava’s position on EU and NATO membership will not change.
“This does not mean that we will not express our own sovereign positions,” he said, repeating his stance that Slovakia is not interested in supporting Ukraine militarily, but will offer other necessary assistance.