BRATISLAVA, December 30. /TASS/. Slovakia is vitally interested in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and restoring good relations between Russia and Ukraine, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, who served as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office in 2019, said in an interview with TASS.
"The Slovak Republic, both as the OSCE Chair and as a good neighbor, is vitally interested in peaceful resolution of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and in restoring good relations between Russia and Ukraine. We would like to see Ukraine as strong, stable, prosperous and sovereign country within its internationally recognized borders," he pointed out. "This is why seeking the ways, how to settle the conflict, was one of the priorities of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship," Lajcak added.
He emphasized that "in the beginning of 2019, we suggested a set of confidence-building measures directed at mitigation of negative consequence of the conflict for people in the field." "Among them repair of destroyed part of the bridge in Stanitsa Luhanska, humanitarian mine action, opening of new exit and entry points across the line of contact, creating protected zones around critical civilian infrastructure, improving health care, exchange of detainees. In spite of some positive signals that we witnessed after the change of power in Ukraine and implementation of some of those confidence-building measures, the hostilities are still ongoing and both military and civilian people are being killed," Lajcak went on to say.
According to him, "the recent Normandy Four Summit in Paris brought some hopes, however all involved sides must implement those declared steps." "Only in this way, progress in peaceful solution of the conflict may be achieved. My country stands ready to support progress in this matter in any possible way, but I need to stress that the main responsibility is on the sides involved in the conflict," Lajcak concluded.