The two-day visit paid by Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, to Ukraine continued today (16 January 2019) when the head of Slovak diplomacy visited the city of Severodonetsk in the company of Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister. The Slovak Minister met with representatives of the administration of Luhansk Oblast and emphasized that the key condition for a positive development is to reach a long-term ceasefire. “If the military logic and the mutual exchange of fire continue, with targets including schools, hospitals and factories, we will not get anywhere.
Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, launched the first of a series of foreign visits to conflict zones in his position as the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with the visit to Ukraine. On the first day he arrived in Kiev where he met with the leadership of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which is responsible for the biggest OSCE mission, consisting of more than 1,300 members, that is mainly active in the east of the country. “Your mission plays a key role in the efforts to stabilize the situation and your people in the field are irreplaceable as our eyes and ears. Therefore the security of the mission and its access wherever the mandate permits to enter should be guaranteed. I appreciate the contribution of the mission and its monitors for bringing objective information about the situation in the conflict zone. I am also thankful for the mission’s unique contribution to the restoration of the damaged infrastructure and demining, which undoubtedly facilitates the life of local inhabitants,” stated the Minister.
During his working visit to the Republic of Austria, Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, held talks with Karin Kneissl, Austria’s Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, today (14 January 2019). Their talks were dominated by issues concerning bilateral cooperation, the current European agenda including the evaluation of Austria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as Slovakia’s OSCE Chairmanship. They discussed bilateral priorities with a focus on cross-border cooperation and joint infrastructure projects. They deemed the mutual neighborhood relations be very good and constructive, which is clearly reflected by the extraordinary intensity of high-level contacts in the recent period. “Austria has been one of our key economic partners and the second biggest investor in Slovakia. Our relations are bilaterally beneficial, and it is necessary to continue with this trend,” emphasized the Slovak Minister.
Today (11 January 2019), Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, spoke at the security conference “Snow Meeting” in the Lithuanian town of Trakai. As part of the panel on the 70th anniversary of the foundation of NATO, Lajčák said that today the Alliance is better prepared to respond to the challenges that it faces than in the past. He spoke primarily about the American presence in Europe and the future of transatlantic relations. The security conference, which traditionally takes place early in the year, was attended by, inter alia, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Estonia and the Ukraine – Edgars Rinkēvičs, Sven Mikser and Pavlo Klimkin respectively – the Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis, and many other representatives of EU institutions, NATO, diplomatic services and think-tanks. “The Snow Meeting” yet again provided a forum for political officials and experts on transatlantic relations to openly discuss ways of strengthening mutual ties in a joint effort to appropriately respond to the current geopolitical challenges in the Baltic region or generally in the EU and NATO neighbourhood.
Conflict prevention, a safer future and efficient multilateralism – these are the priorities which Slovakia has set for its historic first ever chairmanship in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Today (10 January), these priorities were presented by Miroslav Lajčák, Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. This took place during the first meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council this year which was also the first meeting under the new Slovak leadership. The slogan of the Slovak presidency is “Slovakia 2019: In support of People, Dialogue and Stability.” The three priorities of the chairmanship programme carry the spirit of this message. “Slovakia takes the responsibility of this chairmanship very seriously. We are determined to be impartial, fair and honest in our role as partners and mediators,” stated Miroslav Lajčák in his opening statement.