Update: 03/10/2022 11:00
Issued by: 10/3/2022, 10:47 AM
Prague – The solution to migration must also be sought at the European level based on cooperation with the countries that are its source and those that are the destination. The head of Slovak diplomacy, Rastislav Káčer, said this at a press conference after a meeting with Foreign Ministry Jan Lipavský (Pirates) in Prague. He considers the system of readmission agreements to be outdated.
The Czech side introduced controls at the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia due to the migration of mainly Syrian citizens. Slovak politicians assessed the Czech decision differently. While Prime Minister Eduard Heger criticized Prague’s move, Interior Minister Roman Mikulec said he respected it.
“Neither Czechs nor Slovaks are the source of the problem. The source of the problem is illegal migration across the external Schengen border,” Káčer said. According to the former Slovak ambassador to the Czech Republic, it is necessary to find a solution at the European level. “It means cooperation with the countries that are the source, that are the destination, and also those that are on the external border of Schengen from both sides,” he said. Among the possible measures, he included the unification of the visa requirements of neighboring states or the improvement of the efficiency of the EU agency Frontex.
Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan (STAN) stated last week that the Slovak counterpart repeatedly requested that the Slovak side fulfill what follows from international treaties, i.e. the readmission agreement with the Czech Republic. This means that if it is established that the person in question is coming from Slovakia in order to subsequently return there. According to the Austrian, no success was achieved in this direction.
Káčer admitted that Slovakia is not fully fulfilling its obligations in this respect, however, he considers the system of readmission agreements to be outdated, as it was applied mainly before the creation of the Schengen area. According to Kácer, the key problem is the permeability of the external Schengen border and the readmission system from inside Schengen to outside.
According to Lipavský, the Czech Republic is fulfilling the readmission agreement fairly towards Germany, so it has come under some pressure. “Migration does not originate in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, people come from the south of Europe. We are on that route and somehow we have to solve it in terms of security and pan-European, in order to manage to fight the phenomenon of migration, and to look for a solution that will enable the functioning of the Schengen area,” he said.
Lipavský: The next package of anti-Russian sanctions is currently being debated in the EU
The next package of anti-Russian sanctions is currently being debated by the European Union, until it ends there is no point in commenting on the matter further. Lipavský said this at the press conference after the meeting with Káčer.
Lipavský considers it important to continue taking measures against Russia, either because of the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories or because of war crimes. A number of other sanctions exist according to several open questions.
The EU states adopted six direct packages of sanctions, and the last set was approved in July – but representatives of the European Commission do not refer to this as the seventh package of sanctions, but rather as a refinement of the penalties adopted until then. This set refers to the ban on the import of Russian gold and the restriction of the export of products that can be used for military purposes. Sanctions against the largest Russian bank, Sberbank, were also expanded. Five dozen Russian citizens and several firefighters were also added to the sanctions list.
“The Czech Republic came up with the idea of establishing an extraordinary tribunal for the crime of aggression,” noted Lipavský. “Today, we do not have a mechanism to legally define aggression in terms of how it is defined by the UN Charter,” he added. According to him, the Russian leadership should bear responsibility for actions towards Ukraine.
Slovakia also supports further tightening of sanctions. Káčer described the demand brought by Russia’s attack on a sovereign state as huge not only for Slovakia, the Czechia or the EU, but globally. According to him, Ukraine’s victory is key. “Without a free Ukraine without occupiers, there will be no stability in Europe,” added the former Slovak ambassador to the Czech Republic.