Michal Simecka and Petr Fiala. Credit: vlada.cz

PM Fiala Receives Slovak Opposition Leader Simecka

Relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic are at an excellent level, said Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) today, after meeting the Slovak opposition leader Michal Simecka (Progressive Slovakia) this morning.

The meeting took place less than two days after the Czech government suspended consultations with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s cabinet due to differing views on the war in Ukraine.

Fiala said he and Simecka agree on foreign policy issues. “We know who is the aggressor and who is the victim, and we also know who needs to be helped,” Fiala said, referring to the different approaches of the Czech and Slovak governments to helping Ukraine.

Progressive Slovakia said in a press release that Simecka conveyed the message that Slovakia is not only Prime Minister Fico (Smer-SD).

“A huge number of people in Slovakia have a clear pro-European and pro-Western mindset, value our partnership and take a responsible approach to what is happening in our neighbourhood, including aid to Ukraine,” Simecka said.

He also praised the Czech initiative to supply non-European munitions to Ukraine. He said relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia were so deep and important that no government could jeopardise them. “I understand the sincere signal that the Czech government has sent us, after all, this is also the role of the closest partners,” he said, adding that the difficult moment in bilateral relations will be overcome.

“It is in the interest of all of us that the Czechs and Slovaks cooperate and develop their relations,” said Fiala after the meeting. The two countries have a number of common interests and projects, for example in the energy sector or transport infrastructure, he added.

After Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, Fiala announced that Czech-Slovak intergovernmental consultations would not take place in the coming weeks or months. Fico said in response that the Czech government has decided to jeopardise Slovak-Czech relations only because it is interested in supporting the war in Ukraine.

Simecka met representatives of the Czech Pirate Party on Thursday and is scheduled to visit the speaker of the lower house, Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09), today. On Wednesday, he described the Czech government’s decision to suspend consultations with the Slovak cabinet as probably the worst moment since the establishment of an independent Czech and Slovak state.

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