The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power was in Bratislava, Slovakia, where she met with Slovak government leaders, activists, and citizens who have shown enormous generosity in helping Ukrainians forced to flee Putin’s unprovoked and brutal war. The Administrator met with Ukrainian refugees, as well as national and local officials, and civil society actors working to combat the Russian disinformation that stokes divisions and undermines democracy in Slovakia. Throughout her visit, the Administrator reaffirmed the strength of the US Government’s partnership with the Slovak Republic, grounded in a shared commitment to advance democratic values and human rights.
Administrator Power started her day at Bottova Refugee Center. The city of Bratislava, in cooperation with state authorities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector transformed a former bus station into a comprehensive assistance center for newly-arrived Ukrainians. The center offers Temporary Residence status processing, legal assistance, psychosocial services, health care and welfare benefits registration points, medical assistance, and accommodation registration. She thanked Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo for his administration’s support for Ukrainians fleeing the brutal violence. The Administrator also met with families who had fled Ukraine and were seeking assistance at the Center.
The Administrator then joined a roundtable hosted by GlobSec, a regional think tank based in Bratislava. Participants included representatives from the Slovak Republic government, journalists, and civil society, and the diverse group discussed the latest disinformation narratives peddled by the Kremlin and its proxies. They also spoke about innovative methods for monitoring the information space and countering false and damaging narratives that seek to justify Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine and undermine support for democratic reform-minded leaders across the region.
Administrator Power met with President Zuzana Caputova, and separately with Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok, to thank them for their ongoing commitment to supporting Ukrainian refugees who have fled into Slovakia. The Administrator also raised the issue of rampant disinformation in Slovakia and ways in which the United States can support Slovakia’s efforts to fight it. Administrator Power praised the government’s fight against corruption and discussed USAID’s continued partnership with Slovakia in supporting democracy and development regionally. Finally, she commended Slovakia’s leadership role in the Summit for Democracy and the ensuing Year of Action.
Administrator Power concluded her visit by participating in media interviews with Slovak and Ukrainian journalists and meeting with staff at the United States Embassy in Slovakia.