Position of the president on the current situation in Ukraine

Position of the president on the current situation in Ukraine

Position of President Čaputová on the current situation in Ukraine:

"In his long speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin practically denied Ukraine the right to its own state.  He then became the only one in the world to acknowledge the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republic, which eight years ago with substantial assistance from Russia, tried to separate from Ukraine. On the same night he sent Russian troops to the Donetsk and Luhansk region to fulfil alleged “peacekeeping” operations. 

From the perspective of international law, the Russian armed forces are operating on the legitimate territory of Ukraine and that is why this is an act of military aggression and occupation. This was no accidental reaction or incident. This was a calculated, intentional, unprovoked and unjustifiable violation of international law and territorial integrity by Russia against our neighbour, and Slovakia strongly condemns it.

Ukraine had no real ability to prevent this development. Because to do so it would have had to agree to forever remain in the sphere of influence of Russia, which however, in the words of President Putin, does not acknowledge the right to its existence anyway.  As a sovereign state, we would never take such a step and nobody should expect or request the same from Ukraine.  I want to point out that Ukraine has reacted peacefully and diplomatically to the massive growth of Russian military presence at its borders in past months, and to the provocations and military aggression, because Ukraine wishes for peace, like us and the entire Euro-Atlantic community. We consider peace to be the highest value, we will strive for it and insist on a diplomatic solution of this situation. We acknowledge the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its right to choose freely where it wants to belong. And we will support every step of the European Union and NATO, including necessary sanctions.  

In his speech President Putin again repeated the requirement for a return to the pre-1997 security guarantees of the Eastern and Central European countries, including Slovakia. This would lead to the dissolution of NATO’s guarantee of our security. President Putin’s demand is unacceptable for us and the other countries of Eastern and Central Europe, because it would entail the surrender of part of our sovereignty.

Although Slovakia has not been directly affected by the ongoing conflict, we have observed the distinctive growth of hybrid activities of Russia in our territory. This includes the dissemination of disinformation and fake news such as the alleged general mobilization in Slovakia.  The aim of these activities is clear – to destabilize the situation in Slovakia, to distance us from our allies and push us closer to the Russian sphere of influence. In this situation of unprecedented tension throughout Europe, such activities can be considered to be a threat to the security of Slovakia. And they must be treated in this way. Let us remain calm.

Let’s not be provoked, let’s not succumb to disinformation but let us be guided only by verified information from trustworthy sources. Unity, cooperation and firm values are our best protection in these days when our eastern neighbour faces open military aggression."