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Slovak top diplomat: Russia is too important to isolate it

August 30, 2016, 18:45 UTC+3 BUCHAREST

Russia is an important country, a major source of energy for Slovakia, says the country's foreign minister

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Foreign minister of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak

Foreign minister of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak

© AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

BUCHAREST, August 30. /TASS/. Russia is too important to isolate it, the foreign minister of Slovakia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, said on Tuesday urging a dialog with Russia.

"Russia is an important country, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a major source of energy for Slovakia, and I can cite some other aspects showing why it is important to speak with Russia," Miroslav Lajcak said at a news conference with the Romanian counterpart, Lazar Comanescu.

"Our common European position does not implicate that we should not speak with Russia. Russia cannot be ignored, isolated, we must respect the European position and support it, but at the same time a critical dialog is much better than no dialog at all," he said.

"We don’t think that sanctions are the best approach to this situation, but each time we add that Slovakia respects, supports and complies with the EU position," Slovakia’s top diplomat added.

"Our position on sanctions is as such - we agreed to them, but we don’t think they should not be discussed. It is absolutely normal and it gets in line with common sense to take a look at how efficient these sanctions are, what their results are, and should they stay in place as they are, tightened or eased," Miroslav Lajcak went on. "And I cannot understand why we should be afraid of discussing major issues," he said.

Replying to reporters’ queries about the recent visit to Moscow of Prime Minister Robert Fico and his talks with President Putin, Lajcak said ironically that may be it was worth "taking a look at the map of the world to see where Russia is located".

The Romanian foreign minister, for his part, said sanctions could not be lifted at the moment.

"We believe that as long as the circumstances leading to these sanctions remain unchanged, they (the sanctions) must stay in place," he said. "If the motives triggering the sanctions disappear, of course conditions will appear for scrapping them," he said.


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