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20 Jan, 2024 18:29

Admitting Ukraine to NATO could start World War Three – member state

Slovakia will veto any attempt by Kiev to join the bloc, Prime Minister Robert Fico has promised
Admitting Ukraine to NATO could start World War Three – member state

Bratislava will block Ukraine’s bid to join the US-led NATO alliance and will stand by a decision to stop supplying weaponry to the country, Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico has said.

He made the remarks on Saturday ahead of his visit to meet his counterpart Denis Shmygal in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod. Fico stressed that his trip serves solely “humanitarian” purposes and promised to openly communicate Bratislava’s stance to Kiev on different issues, including potential accession to the EU or NATO membership.

“I will tell him that there are things on which we have completely different opinions,” Fico told broadcaster RTVS. “I will tell him that we respect them when it comes to joining the EU, but they must fulfill the conditions,” he added, explaining that a situation where “a country that absolutely does not meet any requirements” joins the EU is unacceptable.

He ruled out any possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, insisting such a move would only result in a global catastrophe, due to a possible direct collision between the bloc and Russia.

I will tell him that I will veto and block [a NATO bid by Ukraine] because that is exactly the basis of the third world war and nothing else.

Fico also promised to reiterate to Shmygal his election campaign pledge to stop providing Kiev with weaponry, stating that the decision remains in force. However, the restriction applies only to state-sponsored military aid to Ukraine and supplies coming from national stocks, but arms manufacturers are free to sell to the country whatever they like, he noted.

“When Slovak companies don’t make money, American ones will,” Fico noted.

Prior to Fico assuming office following his party’s electoral victory in September, Slovakia had been among Kiev’s top supporters, lavishly supplying it with sophisticated weaponry, including warplanes and anti-aircraft systems. The policy of the previous government has also left the country’s own defense posture badly damaged, new Defense Minister Robert Kalinak claimed earlier this week.

“The former government left us without our own anti-aircraft defenses, without combat aviation, and we don’t even have the promised 700 million for MiGs, which the government also handed over to Ukraine,” Kalinak told the Standard newspaper.