On Thursday, Slovak deputies approved the country’s new security strategy, which describes membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the best way to secure the state’s defensive power. Furthermore, the document calls the United States a strategic transatlantic ally and also contains a passage on good relations with Russia.
The new strategy describes Russia as an important partner in addressing international threats and challenges but also drew attention to Russia’s confrontational approach when it comes to the military, security, and politics, as well as in regard to the spread of propaganda and disinformation.
“With its confrontational approach in the military, security, and political spheres, Russia poses a major challenge to the security of our Euro-Atlantic area,” states the document, backed by 77 of the 122 MPs present.
In the passage on Russia, the document stresses that Slovakia cannot ignore violations of the basic principles of international law, interference in the democratic processes of other states, and efforts to weaken the foundations of the European security structure. Slovakia cites Russia’s aggressive behavior and illegal occupation of Ukrainian Crimea and Sevastopol as the reason for the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to the document, these moves conflict with international law.
The security strategy further states that global security has deteriorated in many respects, having a direct impact on Slovakia’s own security and resilience.
“The threats and challenges we face are more complex and interconnected as well as more immediate, and they have greater implications for our security,” the document says.
“The global pandemic has highlighted some of our vulnerabilities and accelerated and deepened existing trends of weakening multilateralism, leading to the resumption of geopolitical rivalry and instability in Europe’s neighborhood as well as regional crises around the world,” the strategy points out.
The document also draws attention to the so-called hybrid threats that Slovakia sees mainly in the spread of disinformation against the democratic establishment and its membership in NATO and the EU.
Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok told the deputies that Slovakia wants to belong to a bloc of countries that respect the principles of the rule of law.
“One part of this world, which the Slovak Republic supports, wants to govern the world based on democratic principles. I will do everything to belong to this world and not to the world that only says on paper that it belongs to a democratic world,” he said.
According to Slovakia’s new security strategy, which replaces the document from 2005, China promotes its own way of governing and a different understanding of human rights and freedoms, which Bratislava intends to take into account in its bilateral relations.
Title image: Slovakia Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok talks to the media during a press conference after a meeting with his Cyprus counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in the capital of Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Katia Christodoulou Pool via AP)