Slovakia Stops Military Aid to Ukraine
The new Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has announced a halt to his country’s military aid to Ukraine. “We consider the aid to Ukraine exclusively as humanitarian and civil aid, we will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine,” Fico told members of the newly elected parliament in Bratislava.
The war in Ukraine is “not our war, we have nothing to do with the war.” An “immediate halt to military operations” is the “best solution we have for Ukraine,” Fico continued. The EU should transform itself from a “weapons supplier to a peacemaker.”
The new Slovak Prime Minister also spoke out against sanctions against Russia. “I will not vote for sanctions against Russia until we have an investigation into their impact on Slovakia,” he said. “If there are sanctions that will harm us, as is the case with most sanctions, I see no reason to support them.”
The left-wing populist Fico had already announced the end of military aid for Ukraine during the election campaign. His coalition government with an ultra-right party and a left-wing party was sworn in yesterday. Fico’s Smer-SD party emerged as the strongest force in the parliamentary elections at the end of September.
The left-wing populist, who was head of government twice in the past, subsequently formed a three-way alliance with the ultra-right Slovak National Party (SNS) and the left-wing Hlas-SD.
Fico’s Smer party became the strongest party in the election at the end of September with 22.9 per cent and has 42 of the 150 members of parliament. The Hlas has 27 seats and the National Party has ten seats. Smer is to receive a total of six ministries, including the ministries of foreign affairs, justice, defence and finance. Hlas will get seven, including interior, economy and education as well as the post of parliamentary speaker, while the Slovak National Party will have three ministries.
Observers assume that EU and NATO member Slovakia – previously one of Ukraine’s supporters in the war against Russia – will make a U-turn in foreign policy under Fico’s leadership and move closer to Hungary’s position.
Fico declared during the election campaign that under his leadership Slovakia would not deliver “one shot of ammunition” to Ukraine. At the same time, he called for better relations with Russia. After his election victory, Fico said that Slovakia had bigger problems than Ukraine – and spoke out in favour of peace talks.
In response to the Slovakian decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it would not have a major impact on the conflict because the share of Slovakia’s arms sales to Ukraine was rather small.