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Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on April 11, 2024. (Denys Shmyhal/Facebook)
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Bratislava will not block Kyiv's accession to the European Union, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said during a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal in Slovakia on April 11.

Elected in September 2023 on a populist, Ukraine-skeptic platform, Fico halted arms supplies from Slovakia's military stocks and has repeatedly criticized both defense assistance for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.

The Slovak prime minister has previously said that he does not oppose Ukraine's membership in the EU if Kyiv meets all criteria for accession.

"This is not speculation. This is absolute full support,” Fico said. “We are not a country that will put obstacles in your way. On the contrary, we want to help, to share our experience with you.”

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In terms of EU accession talks, Bratislava wants Ukraine to "quickly" become a member of the European Union, "as this is a guarantee for the country's prospects and peaceful development,"according to Fico.

Fico also said that Slovakia is ready for military cooperation with Ukraine on a commercial basis and offers assistance in demining.

After Ukraine applied to join the EU in 2022, European leaders agreed to open membership talks during a European Council summit last December.

The European Commission on March 12 proposed a draft framework for the membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova, another candidate to join the bloc, which currently includes 27 countries.

The Ukrainian government believes the negotiations on the country's accession to the European Union can start in the first half of 2024, Shmyhal said.

Ukraine’s path to EU accession paved with reforms
When European leaders agreed to Ukraine’s accession talks in December 2023, the historic move was hailed in Kyiv as a recognition of years of struggle to get closer to the bloc since the EuroMaidan Revolution. The agreement came after a European Commission decision in November 2023 recommending tal…
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