icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
15 May, 2024 23:42

‘No country should be punished for its sovereignty’ – Fico in quotes

How Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who survived an assassination attempt, sees the world and what he says
‘No country should be punished for its sovereignty’ – Fico in quotes

An assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico took place on Wednesday in the city of Handlova, where a government meeting was being held. The attacker fired up to five shots at the prime minister, who received gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen, and arm. 

Fico's condition after the assassination attempt was critical, and the operation ended up being protracted due to damage to several organs. However, according to Slovak media reports, it was ultimately successful. The prime minister’s condition has stabilized, and he is now able to communicate with doctors.

The shooter has been arrested. He turned out to be 71-year-old Slovak writer Juraj Cintula, who was also an activist of the liberal party Progressive Slovakia. Before opening fire, the assailant shouted at Fico: “Robo, come here.”

The party that Fico leads, Direction–Social Democracy (Smer), prevailed in the parliamentary elections last October. As a result, the 59-year-old triumphantly returned to the prime minister’s chair, which he had previously held from 2006-2010 and 2012-2018.

In his pre-election campaign, Fico clearly stated that Slovakia should not supply weapons to the Kiev regime. Upon becoming prime minister (just before a trip to the EU summit in Brussels), he immediately met with Slovak deputies and reiterated his foreign policy priorities. In particular, Fico noted that Bratislava would no longer be supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Today, Fico is one of the few leaders of an EU or NATO country who has expressed an alternate point of view on events in the world. RT has collected some of his quotes that have resonated globally.

On the Russia-Ukraine conflict 

I say it loud and clear and will do so: The war in Ukraine didn’t start yesterday or last year. It began in 2014 when the Ukrainian Nazis and fascists started to murder Russian citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk.

***

There has to be some kind of compromise. What do they expect, that the Russians will leave Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk? That’s unrealistic.

***

It is literally shocking to see how the West has repeatedly made mistakes in assessing the situation in Russia.

Russia completely controls the occupied territories militarily, Ukraine is not capable of any meaningful military counter-offensive, [and] it has become completely dependent on financial aid from the West with unforeseeable consequences for Ukrainians in the years to come.

The position of the Ukrainian president is shaken, while the Russian president increases and strengthens his political support. Neither the Russian economy nor the Russian currency collapsed, [and] anti-Russian sanctions have increased the internal self-sufficiency of this huge country.

On aid for Ukraine

Ukraine is among the most corrupt countries in the world and we are conditioning what is excessive financial support on guarantees that European money (including Slovak) not be embezzled. 

*** 

If the strategy is to continue to pour money there, €1.5 billion per month without any result, and we have to cut our own resources? After all, we have huge problems, and public money is in a difficult state.

***

We can pour all the weapons of the world, all the money there, and Russia will never be defeated militarily. It is the turn of 2023 and 2024, and you will see that Russia will begin to dictate the terms of settlement of this conflict.

***

I will support zero military aid to Ukraine… An immediate halt to military operations is the best solution we have for Ukraine. The EU should change from an arms supplier to a peacemaker.

On Ukraine’s future

Ukraine may say: ‘We want to join NATO.’ This will be their own decision. We are saying that we will not ratify [the documents on Ukraine’s accession to NATO] in parliament because Slovakia needs a neutral Ukraine. Slovakia’s interests will be threatened if Ukraine becomes a NATO member.

***

I will tell him [Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal] that I am against the membership of Ukraine in NATO and that I will veto it. It would merely be a basis for World War III, nothing else.

***

I am against the membership of Ukraine in NATO and I will veto it. If Ukraine were in NATO, some conflicts will be constantly instigated there, and once a clash happens between Russia and a NATO member state, we will have a world war.

***

In the future we can imagine that Ukraine has the closest possible cooperation with the European Union, including membership. But for that, it has to meet conditions like all other countries aspiring for membership had met.

We all know for example that Ukraine belongs among the most corrupt countries in the world and the existing government regime is far from democratic standards.

On sending troops to Ukraine

Ukraine is not a NATO member state. Slovakia has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine and let me send a clear message to all of Slovakia: whoever might ask us for whatever, a Slovak soldier will never set foot past the Slovak-Ukrainian border.

***

The atmosphere [at a combined meeting of EU and NATO officials on Ukraine held in Paris in February] was totally belligerent: to continue the war at all costs and do everything to make the war go on. I was very surprised that not a single word was said about some peace plan or a peace initiative. Yes, I can confirm that there are countries that are ready to send troops to Ukraine. There also are countries that say ‘never’ to that, and Slovakia is one of them. And there are some countries that say such ideas deserve consideration

On the sovereignty of countries

Our partners abroad have been taught that whatever they ask and request from Slovakia, they will automatically get it. But we are a sovereign and self-confident country.

***

As long as I am the head of the Slovak government, I will never agree that a country should be punished for fighting for its sovereignty. I will never agree with such an attack on Hungary

***

Ukraine is not a sovereign, independent country, Ukraine is under the absolute influence of the United States of America – and in this the EU is making a huge mistake, not wanting to keep a sovereign view of Ukraine and only agreeing to what the US says.

On sanctions against Russia

Ukraine needs to be helped, but I would argue that the help is being given in a way that has no effect. We are currently paying (Ukraine. – ed.) €1.5 billion per month from the European Union. We are imposing sanctions on the Russians... How long should this last?

***

To make it clear, I won’t vote for any sanctions against Russia unless we have an analysis of their impact on Slovakia on the table.

On sanctions in sports

I would never mix politics and sport. Why are we harming ourselves by doing this?

Imagine that you have a sport, where the absolute leaders are from Russia and Belarus. You bar them from the competition, and someone who would have otherwise had a minimal probability of winning goes on and wins. What’s the value of that gold medal then?

Never in my life would I stop athletes from competing. Let them show that they have all it takes to win. 

On the Truth

If we can’t tell the truth at the Brussels table that, for example, anti-Russian sanctions didn’t work, that further destruction of Ukraine and killing Ukrainians is going nowhere, that the fanatic implementation of the Green Deal is killing our economies, that 20,000 casualties in the Gaza Strip cannot be overlooked just because Israel causes them, we are on a slippery slope that can be not only politically, but also economically destructive for Europe.

Podcasts
0:00
28:31
0:00
26:14