The division of Czechoslovakia 30 years ago after the fall of communism was the right decision and an inevitable step, said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala during a debate with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger on Monday in Prague.
Fiala said that any efforts designed to keep Czechia and Slovakia together as one nation state would have only caused further tensions and disagreements.
“Maybe it would have disintegrated later under worse conditions,” Fiala said.
In connection with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Heger and Fiala spoke on Monday of a miracle in which the two new states peacefully parted ways and respected each other, with their representatives maintaining above-standard relations.
“We managed to maintain a strong bond, the friendship did not disappear,” Heger said before informally inviting dozens of Slovak students in the audience to return to their homeland after they attend university in Czechia.
According to Heger, Slovakia experienced a difficult time after the division before the nation “stood on its own two feet.” The country was probably not so well prepared, but history has shown that it was the right decision.
According to Fiala, two-nation federations are hardly ever workable, especially when one nation is twice as large. He appreciated that the Czech political representation in 1992 accepted the reality that Slovaks wanted to fulfill their right to self-determination. The peaceful division of the state required generosity on both sides.
“Slovakia did not have exaggerated demands, and the Czech Republic did not insist on nonsense,” said Fiala.
The war against Ukraine further cements the bond
The shared position of the governments after the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine also reflects the permanent ties between the two states. According to the prime ministers, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are opposed to evil, no discussion needed.
“We know what to do, we do not doubt that,” said Fiala.
Since the war broke out, Czechia and Slovakia have provided aid to Ukraine and also to Ukrainians who fled West. If Europe continues to help Ukraine, it is realistic that Ukrainians will achieve their goals, which is to win the conflict, Heger said. According to him, it is necessary to show Russia the strength of the democratic world.
In Fiala’s view, politicians should not only be realists but also idealists and decide according to what is right and what is not.
“That’s why I say that what I want is for Ukraine to win. Only that makes sense and only that is right. Let’s do everything we can for Ukraine to win,” said Fiala.