The Governments of Slovakia and the United States held the third U.S.-Slovak Strategic Dialogue yesterday in Washington, D.C. The strategic dialogue series was launched in 2020 and demonstrates the strength and importance of the bilateral relationship and our cooperation on a broad range of topics. We remain committed to the values of democracy, rule of law, and the protection of human rights that have underpinned our partnership over the past three decades.
Political Director Michal Pavúk of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Assistant Secretary Karen Donfried of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs led the discussion. Representatives from Slovakia’s Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Economy, Council for Media Services, and the Slovak Police Force also joined, as did representatives from the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy and the National Security Council.
The Strategic Dialogue focused on the following topics:
- Russia’s unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine;
- Security issues, including bilateral military cooperation, transatlantic relations, and regional security issues, including in the Western Balkans;
- Energy security, including efforts to diversify and strengthen supply chains;
- Efforts to promote democracy through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including under the umbrella of the Summit for Democracy and current Year of Action; and
- Countering disinformation.
Slovakia and the United States stand resolutely with Ukraine and its people. Russia’s sham referenda and attempt to annex Ukrainian territory are an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that undergird international peace. In concert with our European and global allies, the United States and Slovakia are supporting the people of Ukraine’s efforts to defend their country and its democracy against Russia´s war of aggression.
Together, we underlined the importance of unity and solidarity within the NATO Alliance and strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, particularly on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank. We reaffirmed the strategic EU-NATO partnership in responding to common threats. We also highlighted bilateral military cooperation, greatly strengthened in the past year by the adoption of a Defense Cooperation Agreement, and the modernization of the Slovak Armed Forces.
Slovakia and the United States expressed their support for initiatives aimed at strengthening European energy security. The discussion focused on practical outcomes for consumers and industries, with the aim of ensuring energy security and sustainability. We will seek opportunities to reinforce national energy infrastructure resilience and to transition away from Russian energy supplies. Other initiatives, including small modular reactors and hydrogen, carry the potential for greater technological cooperation in the future.
We intend to cooperate closely to protect democratic principles and to strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions at home and abroad. Vibrant civil society, independent media, and tools to counter corruption, including a further deepening of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in these areas, remain indispensable to safeguard democracy for future generations. Both countries are focused on advancing the commitments from the Summit for Democracy, such as the sharing of Slovak expertise in developing a beneficial ownership registry.
Slovakia and the United States condemned Russia’s use of disinformation and other forms of malign influence. We discussed best practices and lessons learned in countering this disinformation, as well as concrete ways to address this issue.
We expressed a strong interest in continuing to deepen our strategic partnership. Slovakia will host the next Strategic Dialogue in 2023.