Czech and Slovak foreign ministers say differences on Ukraine will not sour special relationship

Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský on Monday met for talks with his newly-appointed Slovak counterpart Juraj Blanár from the ruling SMER party, which has indicated a U-turn in the country’s support for Ukraine. The meeting was viewed as an indicator of how far the change-of-guard in Slovakia could cool relations between the neighbor states and the Visegrad Group.

The meeting of foreign ministers was the first top-level contact between the Czech centre-right Fiala administration and the cabinet of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico who earlier announced he intended to halt military aid to Ukraine and said that he was not going to support any sanctions against Russia that would hurt his country.

Many predicted a cooling in relations between the two neighbours, who spent over 70 years in a common state before going their separate ways 30 years ago. However, after Monday’s talks, the foreign ministers went out of their way to smooth any rough edges, saying that despite differences of opinion on certain issues, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have exceptionally close ties and would continue to cooperate closely in areas where they have common interests, such as pushing for a viable European migration pact. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said he was happy with the outcome of the talks.

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Author: Daniela Lazarová