No more military aid for Ukraine – EU state’s new PM
Slovakia’s new prime minster, Robert Fico, has pledged to end military support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, and to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities. He also vowed not to back further sanctions on Moscow if they end up harming his country.
Speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary committee for European affairs on Thursday, Fico stated that “as prime minister, I will support zero military aid to Ukraine,” explaining that the position of his government is that “the immediate cessation of military operations is the best solution we have for Ukraine.”
Fico urged the EU to transform itself from “an arms supplier to a peacemaker,” insisting that Ukraine and Russia would be better off negotiating peace for the next ten years rather than killing each other’s citizens without any results.
He also pointed out that the possibility of Russia withdrawing from its newly incorporated territories, i.e. the Crimean peninsula, the Donbass republics and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, was unrealistic – and that it was naive to expect to corner a nuclear state using conventional weapons.
The new premier also stated that during his upcoming two-day visit to Brussels to take part in an EU summit focused on the Ukraine conflict, he would reject any proposals for further anti-Russia sanctions proposed by the Baltic countries unless there is a detailed analysis of the harm such restrictions could have on Slovakia. “If the sanctions are to be such that they will harm us, then I see no reason to support them," he said.
Fico, who took office on Wednesday, also reiterated his position that the conflict in Ukraine was ultimately caused by the attacks of “Ukrainian fascists on the civilian population of Russian nationality.”
Since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Slovakia had been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters, sending military supplies and promoting anti-Russia sanctions.
However, the country officially halted any military aid to Ukraine earlier this month after Fico’s Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party secured victory in Slovakia’ parliamentary elections in September.
His party has vowed not to send “a single round [of ammunition] for Ukraine” and has opposed the continued escalation of tensions in relations with Russia.
“Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” Fico announced after his party’s victory, adding that Bratislava would only consider offering Ukraine humanitarian aid.