Slovak envoy to Belarus resigns over taking part in Victory parade in Minsk

Jozef Migas, who had been Ambassador of Slovakia to Belarus since 2016, handed in his resignation, which has been accepted.

Despite the spread of the coronavirus, he attended the Victory parade in Minsk without the consent of the leadership, the Slovak media outlet Dennik reports.

When the Slovak Foreign Ministry sought an explanation from the diplomat, Migas stepped down and told journalists that showing up at the parade was his principled stance.

“I am a son of a partisan and anti-fascist,” he said.

‘Brave decision’: WHO rep thanks post-Soviet leaders for cancelling Victory parades

According to the ministry, the ambassador violated the rules of communication with the headquarters by not reporting his intention to participate in the military parade on May, 9.

The parade on May 9 was attended by two ambassadors from EU member states – Hungary and Slovakia. Many representatives of other countries did not accept the invitation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As reported earlier, Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka decided against cancelling a Victory parade in Minsk although the WHO and other experts had warned that organising mass events in a current epidemiological situation might result in its deterioration. On May 9, the event was attended by about 15,000 spectators. Following the celebration, Lukashenka claimed that Belarus recorded a decline in ‘pneumonia’.

To date, Belarusian health professionals have registered 26,772 persons infected with the novel coronavirus; in the past 24 hours, 947 new cases have been confirmed. According to official information, the COVID-19 death toll has topped 150.

Tanks and fireworks: Belarus gearing up for Victory Parade amid pandemic