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29 Oct, 2023 02:08

NATO member warns US of new defense policy

Slovakia seeks to review its agreement with the US, a newly appointed minister has revealed
NATO member warns US of new defense policy

Slovakia is seeking to review the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the US to ensure that the deal remains “mutually beneficial,” and as a result will halt arms shipments to Ukraine, the newly appointed defense minister, Robert Kalinak, has announced.

“When things ain’t working out you need to fix it,” Robert Kalinak wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, following a meeting with US Ambassador Gautam Rana, where he said “mutual interests and current security challenges were discussed.” 

“Slovakia’s foreign and defense policy has experienced failure after failure and Slovaks can no longer pay for the mistakes of their leader,” he explained, adding that the current agreement is “ill-formulated” and puts Slovakia under the obligation to relinquish “much-needed military equipment and ammunition.”

Kalinak stressed that Slovakia values cooperation with its “Western partners,” but the newly elected leadership will not follow in the footsteps of the previous “servile government” and will act in the interest of its own people. 

“We conveyed to the US Ambassador at the meeting the position of the pro-Slovak Government – we will not send new shipments from Slovak ammunition depots to Ukraine and the defense agreement will have to be modified,” the defense minister said.

Slovakia has officially suspended any military aid to Ukraine after the Slovak Social Democracy party secured victory in parliamentary elections in September. Prime Minister Robert Fico vowed that not “a single round [of ammunition] will be sent to Ukraine.”

On Friday, Fico again questioned the EU’s unprecedented funding to Kiev, rejecting the proposed new tranche of €50 billion and saying that Slovakia will only agree to increased contribution to the EU if promised that the funds will not be “embezzled” by Kiev.