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Russian-Slovak Talks and Ceremony awarding Russian and Slovak state decorations to veterans

April 7, 2010, Bratislava

Dmitry Medvedev and President of Slovakia Ivan Gasparovic held talks and presented Russian and Slovak state decorations to veterans of the battles fought to liberate Slovakia from Nazi occupation.

Mr Medvedev’s official visit to the Republic of Slovakia coincides with the 65th anniversary of Bratislava’s liberation from Nazi occupation.

Speaking at a ceremony decorating war veterans, the Russian President noted that 60,000 Soviet citizens gave their lives in the battles to liberate Slovakia, as did a large number of Slovaks, with whom they fought together side by side. 

Mr Medvedev presented the Order of Friendship to member of the Slovak Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters’ Central Committee Anton Droppa, Secretary of the Historical Group of Resistance Fighters of Foreign and Allied Armies Jan Minarik, and Honorary Chairman of the Slovak Union of Anti-Fascist Fighters Karol Schwartz for their great contribution to strengthening Russian-Slovakian friendship.

Mr Gasparovic presented the Order of the White Double Cross 2nd class to Major General Georgy Zverev, Sergeant-Major Vladimir Lebedev and Hero of Russia Colonel Alexander Fadin for their merits during the battles to liberate Slovakia from Nazi occupation.

Mr Medvedev presented Slovakia with copies of archival materials from the Russia State Archives, the Russian State Military Archives and the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History on the battles the Russian and Slovak peoples fought together during World War II.

Mr Medvedev and Mr Gasparovic laid wreaths at the Slavin War Memorial to Fallen Soviet Soldiers.

The memorial, located on a 252-metre high hilltop, has been declared a national cultural monument. It was built to honour the heroes of the Soviet army and commemorate the 15th anniversary of Bratislava’s liberation – April 4, 1960. The memorial’s individual and mass graves are the final resting place for 6,845 Soviet soldiers.

The Russian and Slovak presidents concluded their talks by adopting a joint declaration and overseeing the signing of a package of bilateral agreements on cooperation in various areas.

The two leaders made press statements and answered journalists’ questions.

April 7, 2010, Bratislava