Slovakia Summit 2005
The Slovakia Summit 2005 was a summit between George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, the president of the United States of America, and Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, the president of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, in Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, Slovakia between 23 and 25 February 2005. This marked the first occasion when a sitting President of the United States visited Slovakia since its independence in 1993. The previous "Bush-Putin 2001
Bush-Putin 2001
The so called Slovenian Summit was the first meeting between the U.S. President George W. Bush and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It took place on June 16th 2001 on the Brdo pri Kranju estate in northern Slovenia...

" summit had taken place in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 on 16 June of that year.

Also attending was Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 (U.S. Secretary of State) and Sergei Lavrov (Russian Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

) as well as the first ladies of both presidents, Laura Bush
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

 and Liudmila Putina.

Bush's European trip before the summit

Prior to the summit, Bush had travelled to Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 and met with several European leaders and councils of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and NATO, including Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

, Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

, and Javier Solana
Javier Solana
Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga, KOGF is a Spanish physicist and Socialist politician. After serving in the Spanish government under Felipe González and Secretary General of NATO , he was appointed the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary...

. He also met with Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is a former President of Ukraine. He took office on January 23, 2005, following a period of popular unrest known as the Orange Revolution...

, the new President of Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and gave a public speech directed at citizens of Europe outlining his policies. He then travelled to Germany and met with Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...

. In preparation for the summit, Condoleezza Rice spent a week visiting officials in European capitals.

The summit

Bush met with Slovak leaders including President Ivan Gašparovič
Ivan Gašparovic
Ivan Gašparovič is a Slovak politician and law professor who has been the President of Slovakia since 15 June 2004. He is also the first Slovak president to be re-elected.-Biography:...

 and Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda
Mikuláš Dzurinda
Mikuláš Dzurinda is a Slovak politician who was Prime Minister of Slovakia from 30 October 1998 to 4 July 2006. He was a founder and leader of the Slovak Democratic Coalition and the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union...

. On 24 February Bush also gave a public speech in Hviezdoslav
Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav
Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (* February 2, 1849 in Vyšný Kubín (Felsőkubin), Austrian Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, † November 8, 1921 in Dolný Kubín, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), was a Slovak poet, dramatist, translator and for a short time member...

 Square (Hviezdoslavovo námestie
Hviezdoslavovo námestie (Bratislava)
Hviezdoslavovo námestie is one of the best-known squares in Bratislava. It is located in the Old Town, between the New Bridge and the Slovak National Theatre.The square is named after Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav.-History:...

) in Bratislava.

Topics of discussion at the summit are partly private, but included Russian democracy
Politics of Russia
The politics of Russia take place in a framework of a federal semi-presidential republic. According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state, and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed...

 (this was the main topic at the subsequent press conference), the situation in Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, the North Korean nuclear talks
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
North Korea has declared that it has nuclear weapons and is believed by many to have nuclear weapons. The CIA assesses that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons...

 and other international topics. One of the objects of the summit activities was to improve relations between the U.S. and Europe. Notably, Slovakia is an ally of the U.S. in the Iraq War and contributed troops to the Coalition of the willing
Coalition of the willing
The term coalition of the willing is a post-1990 political phrase used to collectively describe participants in military or military-humanitarian interventions for which the United Nations Security Council cannot agree to mount a full UN peacekeeping operation...


In conjunction with the summit, a conference, "A New Quest for Democracy", was held in Bratislava by the Marshall Fund in conjunction with Slovak partners, to which mainly past or contemporaneous "fighters" for democracy from Eastern Europe (incl. Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Serbia etc.) were invited.$UNIDviewAll/46D3BB354DBDB5E685256FA90057F945?opendocument&K2D3C7AA7

Both first ladies visited the famous Primate's Palace
Primate's Palace
The Primate's Palace is a neo-Classical palace in Bratislava's Old Town. It was built from 1778 to 1781 for Archbishop József Batthyány, after the design of architect Melchior Hefele....

. The US first lady opened a department of the University Library in Bratislava (which was being restored and modernized at that time) that was devoted to US literature and studies. The Russian first lady opened a similar department for Russian literature in the same library one day later.

Among other things, Bush promised that US administration will prepare a "road map" for Slovakia (and probably also the neighbouring Central European countries) aiming at abolishing the need of US entrance visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

 for the citizens of Slovakia and those countries.

Approximate program

  • 23 February
    • 7.40 pm – Bush's landing at M. R. Štefánik Airport
      M. R. Štefánik Airport
      -Cargo airlines:-Charter airlines:winter 2011/12 list-VIP and other operators:*ABS Jets – base*Tatra Jet – focus city*OPERA JET – base*VR Jet – base...

  • 24 February
    • c. 9.00 am – Bush, President's palace
      Grassalkovich Palace
      The Grassalkovich Palace is a palace in Bratislava and the residence of the president of Slovakia. It is situated on Hodžovo námestie, near the Summer Archbishop's Palace....

    • 9.50 am – Bush, The Slovak Republic Government Office
      Summer Archbishop's Palace
      The Summer Archbishop's Palace or Summer Archiepiscopal Palace is a palace in Bratislava which houses the government of Slovakia...

    • 11.45 am – Bush's speech, Hviezdoslav
      Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav
      Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (* February 2, 1849 in Vyšný Kubín (Felsőkubin), Austrian Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, † November 8, 1921 in Dolný Kubín, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), was a Slovak poet, dramatist, translator and for a short time member...

       Square, in front of the Slovak National Theatre
      Slovak National Theatre
      The Slovak National Theatre denotes:* the oldest Slovak professional theatre consisting of 3 ensembles ,* a Neo-Renaissance theatre building in the Old Town of Bratislava, Slovakia, which formerly housed two of the theatre's ensembles , and* the theatre's large modern theatre building in...

    • afternoon – Vladimir Putin's landing at M. R. Štefánik Airport
    • c. 3.30 pm – Putin and Bush, Bratislava Castle
      Bratislava Castle
      Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on a quite isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava...

      , press conference at c. 6.00 pm
    • c. 7.30 pm – Bush's take off from M. R. Štefánik Airport
  • 25 February
    • c. 9.30 am – Putin, Slavín
      Slavín in Bratislava, Slovakia , is a memorial monument and cemetery for Soviet Army soldiers who fell during World War II while liberating the city of Bratislava in April 1945 from the occupying German Wehrmacht units and the remaining Slovak troops who supported the Tiso government...

       Memorial, meeting with Slovak and Russian WWII veterans
    • c. 10.00 am – Putin, National Council of the Slovak Republic
      National Council of the Slovak Republic
      The National Council of the Slovak Republic , abbreviated to NR SR, is the national parliament of Slovakia. It is unicameral, and consists of 150 MPs, who are elected by universal suffrage under proportional representation every four years....

    • c. 11.15 am – Putin, The Slovak Republic Government Office
    • c. 12.40 pm – Putin, President's palace
    • c. 4.00 pm – Putin's take off from M. R. Štefánik Airport


Safety was the pinnacle of concerns for all participants. The Slovak Army
Military of Slovakia
The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic number 14,000 uniformed personnel. Slovakia joined NATO in March 2004. From 2006 the army transformed into a fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished.-Structure of the Armed Forces:...

 and Slovak government had pledged their full resources for the security of each individual. Among the resources being deployed were:
  • 5,300 policemen
  • 400 soldiers
  • SA-10 Grumble – an anti-aircraft missile system on alert
  • chemical laboratory – standing by in case of a chemical attack
    Chemical warfare
    Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

  • permanent air surveillance by Mig-29s over Bratislava
  • the Slovak government prepared a law under which the minister of defense can approve shootings down of civil aircraft (

Common safety steps

  • more security controls at General M. R. Štefánik Airport, Bratislava
  • traffic restrictions; no thoroughfare for lorry above 3.5 tons at frontier crossing since Wednesday until Friday
  • Bratislava, ironically called "Fort Bratislava" at that time, consisted of three security zones (Bratislava Castle, Hviezdoslav Square, President's palace), each zone was divided into three circles (yellow – controlled space, green – more controlled space and red – restricted space)
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