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Slovakia's PM speaks out against anti-Russian sanctions

The premier says Slovakia and Russia intend to develop trade
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

PRAGUE, August 26. /TASS/. Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico once again spoke out in favor of lifting sanctions against Russia, which he said are useless and harmful for both the European Union and Russia.

"In my opinion is it is high time to reconsider the sanctions from a rational point of view and say that they are harmful for both the EU and Russia," he said. "They have not settled the problem, which they were supposed to influence."

On Thursday, the Slovak prime minister visited Russia, where he had a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. On Friday, Robert Fico will participate in a meeting of the Vysehrad Group (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Yesterday, with Vladimir Putin we came to the common opinion that our purpose is to develop mutual trade," Fico wrote on his Facebook page.

At present, Slovakia is currently chairing the European Council for a six-month period. In the past, Slovakia’s prime minister has come out in favor of having the anti-Russian sanctions lifted several times. Fico said that his government is interested in correcting the current situation in the relations between the EU and Russia. According to him, Slovakia is committed to restoring full partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation between Brussels and Moscow.

On June 14, Putin and Fico held a telephone call, which was also dedicated to the development of relations between the two countries. The presidents of Hungary and the Czech Republic are also against the sanctions. At the same time, Angela Merkel and the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Thursday said that any possible lifting of the EU sanctions against Russia was premature.