Slovak PM doubts about impact of sanctions against Russia



Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico stated after an extraordinary Cabinet session on Thursday afternoon that the European Union (EU)'s sanctions against Russia have prompted him to "laugh a bit", local media reported.

"We have information that all goods from the EU are flowing to Russia via Belarus and Turkey, which is a NATO member," said Fico, adding that the European sanctions are losing much of the desired effect and aren't changing anything in terms of Russia's behavior, either.

"We're damaging mainly ourselves," stressed Fico. If Russia introduces retaliatory measures, Slovakia may lose as many as 6, 000-8,000 jobs in the car industry, which is the workhorse of the Slovak economy.

"Did we really want this? In the name of a geopolitical struggle between Russia and USA?" asked Fico rhetorically.

Slovak Ambassador to the EU Ivan Korcok has been commissioned by the government to object against the sanctions concerning capital markets.

According to Fico, there would emerge a risk that if Sberbank' s subsidiaries in the EU found themselves in trouble, the parent company in Russia would be prevented by the sanctions from acting.

Also, Slovakia will demand that certain dual-use goods are exempt from the list of banned products.

"We don't view it as correct to forbid the exports of goods and technologies of dual use to civil end users in Russia," added the Slovak premier.