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If you write in Cyrillic and want to help Slovakia, get ready to fight

Anastasia Kuzminova is Russian, but she won six Olympic medals for Slovakia, she is the world champion, and also won the small globe at the World Cup. She glorified Slovakia, she feels at home here. Slovakia received her with open arms. I'm also a foreigner. Like Nastya, I was brought to Slovakia by my husband - although my husband is a native Slovak - from Bratislava. Two children were also born here.

As a foreigner who - despite the 14 years lived here - I will feel like from time to time for the rest of my life, I understand her when she says you can't erase a place of birth. My birthplace is Crimea, which Russia annexed five years ago. I am a Crimean Russian. And I am glad that my parents and brother moved with me to Slovakia in 2012, two years before the war. They already had their own story - daughter and grandchildren. And since they came with me, they considered Slovakia a good country. It was a good place to live and do business. However, they got here only on the second attempt, their first application was rejected by the foreign police. Unfortunately, I have already lost my parents, my brother still lives and works in Slovakia.

Since my husband and I have been helping highly qualified foreigners come to Slovakia since I finished language courses, we know that this is not an isolated story. Until recently, however, times were better. From the very beginning of our business, we thrived. Foreigners were interested in doing business in Slovakia, mainly through a single income tax of 19%. However, in 2013, the government abolished it, and since then the situation has begun to change. The introduction of a tax on health insurance and dividends, the increase in income tax and the introduction of a tax on millionaires take away from us the highest quality customers. IT specialists prefer to go to Georgia, logistics companies - to Hungary and Poland, doctors - to the Czech Republic and Germany.

The attitude of Slovaks towards people who come from post-Soviet countries is also changing. They are suspicious. It often happens that they do not even distinguish between nationalities. They unite Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians. Since this is my daily work, I know many stories about good people who did not even want to leave their country. Like, for example, a beautiful pediatrician from war-torn Donetsk, who wanted to start a new life with her family in Slovakia. However, it was not accepted, because, although in Slovakia there is a problem of shortage of doctors, it does not welcome foreign ones.

Slovakia is my home, I love it and would not like to live elsewhere. Fourteen years ago it seemed unthinkable to me. I studied in St. Petersburg - a city that is several times larger than Bratislava, with great opportunities. Because of my husband, I moved to Slovakia, a small but beautiful country. With good people. Just a system that should be useful, allows officials to elevate themselves over others and complicate their lives and work. I speak not only from the experience of many of our clients, but also from my own. Upon arrival, the consulate staff made it clear to me that I had nothing to offer Slovakia. It seems that a young 21-year-old girl from Russia is good for nothing, except for pole dancing.

And I really regret it. Thus, Slovakia is losing many professionals who could improve the lives of not only themselves, but also the new country and its people. And maybe one day make her famous. Just like Nastya did.

Current articles by Alona Kurotova are also available at