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Fico: Slovakia should prepare for normalization of relations with Russia

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 30, 2023 7:08 PM 2 min read
Slovakia's new Prime Minister, Robert Fico, in Prague on Nov. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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Slovakia should prepare for "the end of the war in Ukraine and for the standardization of Slovak-Russian relations," Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Nov. 30.

Speaking to both the U.S. and Russian ambassadors to Slovakia in Bratislava, Fico said that although Slovak foreign policy is influenced by its membership in both the EU and NATO, it has certain "sovereign positions."  

These positions "are not always in line with the policy of one single correct opinion promoted in the European Union," Fico said.

Fico's priority in the sphere of foreign policy is to implement "the protection and promotion of Slovak national interests," which support "peace initiatives," and not war in Ukraine.

Robert Fico's SMER party won the parliamentary elections on Sept. 30 on a populist platform that promised to immediately end all military aid to Ukraine.

By Oct. 11, the party had formed a coalition government with the left-wing Hlas party and the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party.

In early November, the newly-appointed government rejected delivering a 40.3-million-euro ($43.2 million) military aid package for Ukraine that had been proposed by its predecessor.

Under its previous government, Slovakia provided Ukraine with extensive humanitarian and military assistance, including artillery, fighter jets, and other support.

During a state visit to Prague on Nov. 24, Fico claimed the Russian invasion of Ukraine constituted a frozen conflict that cannot be solved by sending arms to Ukraine.

Not backing Ukraine is ‘disastrous for Slovak security,’ says former defense minister
One of Ukraine’s worst fears appears to have come to pass: a key ally announced a halt to military aid. Slovakia, Ukraine’s small eastern neighbor of 5.4 million people, gave generously from its Soviet-era arsenal and welcomed Ukrainian refugees after the full-scale war began. Now, a recent electi…
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