Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Juraj Blanar said Bratislava will not back the EU’s 12th package of sanctions against Russia if it bans the import of Russian nuclear fuel, Slovak news agency Tasr reported on Nov. 18.
"A red line for us is that the sanctions mustn't include nuclear fuel because (Slovak) nuclear power plants haven't been sufficiently transformed yet to be able to operate with alternative fuel,” the minister said.
The European Commission presented the proposal for the 12th sanctions on Nov. 15. It may include export bans on machine parts and other dual-use goods Russia uses for producing arms against Ukraine.
Other proposals reportedly include the much-awaited ban on Russian diamonds and measures to reinforce the $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil, which Moscow has mostly managed to circumvent.
Speaking on the Slovak TV show "Saturday Dialogues," Blanar said the ruling Direction – Social Democracy party (SMER) will demand a study on the impact of sanctions on the EU and Slovakia, claiming that sanctions against Russia have negatively impacted EU businesses and have not managed to stop the war.
He added that while Bratislava supports financial aid for Ukraine under certain conditions, it must be used for its intended purpose and not “disappear."
Last week, the recently elected SMER party rejected a military aid package to Ukraine worth €40.3 million ($43.2 million) proposed by its predecessor.
The appointment of SMER's Blanar as Slovakia's new foreign minister made headlines in Ukraine, as he previously called Russian aggression in 2014 a Ukrainian "civil war" — a line often parroted by Russian propaganda to obscure the Kremlin's involvement.