On January 26, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova together with her Slovak colleague State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovak Republic Ingrid Brockova opened the Sixth Ukrainian-Slovak Expert Forum.
Ukrainian and Slovak experts, representatives of governmental structures and business joined the discussion at the event.
Emine Dzhaparova outlined priorities of Ukraine’s foreign policy for 2021, particularly in the sphere of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, energy security, as well as countering Russian aggression. She also expressed special gratitude to the Slovak side for supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine bilaterally and within international organizations.
On her part, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovak Republic Ingrid Brockova pointed out that Ukraine is a very important neighbor of the Slovak Republic and that her country supports our European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as does not recognize the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
When speaking on the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea, Emine Dzhaparova brought attention to the deterioration of the situation with human rights, as well as to the ongoing militarization of the peninsula by the Russian occupational authorities, which poses a threat to the security of the region of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
First Deputy Foreign Minister emphasized that over 28,000 Ukrainian citizens have been conscripted to the Russian army since the beginning of the occupation of the peninsula and over 60 criminal cases have been opened by the occupational powers for evading military service.
Emine Dzhaparova also brought the attention of the participants to the forcible demographic change in Crimea and reminded of other crimes of the Russian occupational administration, namely suppression of religious freedoms and the freedom of expression, oppression of national minorities, politically motivated persecutions, forced disappearances, militarization of education and illegal privatization of Ukrainian state-owned assets in Crimea.
In this regard, Emine Dzhaparova presented to her Slovak colleagues the aims and mechanisms of the Crimean Platform, informed the attendees about the preparations for the Inaugural Summit in Kyiv on August 23, 2021, as well as expressed gratitude to the Slovak side for the readiness to take part in the Summit.
For reference: Ukrainian-Slovak expert forum is hosted annually by the Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism” in cooperation with the Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association and serves as a platform for discussing important issues of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the Slovak Republic.