The head of Transcarpathia Vasyl Hubal, "I hope that soon there wil be no barbed wire between the Selmentsi halves" (PHOTOS)
The international pedestrian crossing "Mali Selmentsi - Vel'ke Slemence" connecting Ukraine and Slovakia was solemnly opened after the reconstruction.
The head of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration Vasyl Hubal, who was present at this international event, admitted: his dream is to see no barbed wire on the border in Selmentsi and the Ukrainian-Slovak village reunited in a common European space.
The reconstruction of the Slovak part of the checkpoint was carried out at the expense of the EU under the Cross Border Cooperation Programme "European Neighbourhood and Partnership" as part of the major project "Modernization and reconstruction of the crossing points on the Slovak-Ukrainian border."
According to the President of the state fiscal service of the Slovak Republic František Imreche, who attended the celebrations, he was pleased to open the renovated facility because this crossing point has primarily a social role - it is used in order to visit relatives, friends, and even family graves, because it's no secret that once Selmentsi was one village.
The Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic Petro Kazimir raised an interesting topic at the meeting - he told that recently checkpoints renovated by Slovakia have been... ceasing to exist, because the borders are becoming transparent. And he hopes that the same will happen here, on the border with Ukraine.
The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Ukraine Oleg Havashi in turn recalled a saying common to Ukrainians and Slovaks: "A good neighbor is better than a relative". In this context, it is more than relevant.
The head of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration Vasyl Hubal, commenting on the event, said: "I am impressed with what I saw: one part of the village is in Slovakia, another part is in Ukraine. I'm sure that aspirations of Transcarpathians to live in a united European family will remove these checkpoints from our border, including this renovated one which we have just opened. Overall, I am glad that people can cross the boder between the states and communicate. But, in my opinion, it is wrong that Mali Selmentsi and Vel'ke Slemence are divided by barbed wire. I made a wish that it is gone in a short time."