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27 Feb, 2024 10:17

EU state’s PM decries ‘martial’ mood at Ukraine meeting

Slovakia will under no circumstances send troops to help Kiev fight Russia, Robert Fico has insisted
EU state’s PM decries ‘martial’ mood at Ukraine meeting

Pro-Ukrainian leaders of EU states seem intent on continuing hostilities with Russia “at all costs,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico claimed after a key security meeting in Paris on Monday. Bratislava’s fears have been confirmed in this respect, he added.

The gathering was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the EU's Ukraine policy, in light of battlefield setbacks for Kiev and stalled US aid. Following the meeting, Macron claimed that the official deployment of Western troops to Ukraine cannot be ruled out, even though there is no consensus on the issue.

Fico cited a “purely martial atmosphere” at the event, stating that pro-Ukrainian participants had appeared determined “to support the war at all costs.”

“I was very surprised that not a single word was said about any peace plan,” the Slovak prime minister stressed.

Slovakia's Fico-led government remains “peace-oriented” and will not provide weapons to Kiev, let alone send troops, he insisted. Bratislava’s focus will instead be on civilian projects, a position that Fico said he had conveyed to other national leaders.

Macron argued in his post-meeting remarks that Kiev’s backers must “ratchet up” their support because “Russia must not win,” arguing that EU security was at stake.

The French leader cited the escalation of Western military aid to Ukraine – from “helmets and sleeping bags” to long-range missiles and fighter jets – to explain why the reluctance over a direct military confrontation with Russia may change in the future.

”We are determined to do everything necessary for as long as necessary. That is the key takeaway from this evening,” Macron declared.

Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-initiated proxy war on Russia, in which Ukraine and EU nations are forced to pay the price. Fico is among the European politicians to have openly questioned the Western approach and its rationale.