Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement during a media scrum following his talks with Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko, Bratislava, December 5, 2019
Mr Speaker, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased and honoured to meet with Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Andrej Danko as part of my visit to Bratislava to attend the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
We have very close ties with Slovakia and they are developing progressively. Last summer, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Peter Pellegrini visited Russia. We maintain regular contacts with the Slovak Foreign Ministry. Efforts to strengthen inter-parliamentary ties are playing an increasingly greater role in our relations. A month ago, Andrej Danko was in Moscow and, among other events, visited my alma mater – MGIMO University – to speak at an event dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Slovak national uprising. In 2020, we will continue marking memorable dates from World War II, dates that are associated with the liberation of Europe in which the Red Army, jointly with resistance fighters in all countries enslaved by the Nazis, played a decisive role. What unites us is the need to teach the young generation to reject man-hateful ideologies. At the UN General Assembly and as part of its OSCE activities, Russia, along with its supporters, constantly warns against the temptation to play up to and indulge neo-Nazi sentiments.
Unfortunately, those who have not learned the lessons of the most terrible war in the history of humankind are trying to drag neo-Nazi, ultra-radical and man-hateful ideas into today’s politics.
Some European Union countries and countries that seek to build stronger relations with the EU, hold celebrations to honour the Nazis and torchlight processions like those held in Nazi Germany to substantiate the idea of racial superiority. This is unacceptable.
In light of the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II to be celebrated in May next year, we together with like-minded people – of course, Slovakia’s Speaker of the National Council Andrej Danko is one of them – are preparing a series of events that will highlight the importance of never allowing a tragedy like this to occur again.
In conclusion, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Slovakian people for taking good care of the sites where Red Army soldiers are buried – soldiers who, side-by-side with the Slovaks, stood up for the independence of our homeland and fought against Nazism.