Slovakia's newly-appointed Prime Minister Robert Fico said his country would no longer send arms to Ukraine and vowed to promote this stance also on the European level, the Guardian reported on Oct. 26.
Fico, whose SMER party won the parliamentary elections on a pro-Russian, populist platform, repeated his previous promise that Slovakia would halt all military aid for Ukraine, which continues to face Russian aggression.
Speaking to Slovak lawmakers on Oct. 26, he however added that Bratislava would continue providing humanitarian assistance.
Under the previous governments, Slovakia has provided Ukraine with extensive humanitarian and military assistance, including artillery, fighter jets, and other support.
Fico plans to promote his views in Brussels, where he is set to join a two-day EU leaders' summit on Oct. 26-27.
"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," Fico said.
The prime minister also added he would "not vote for any sanctions against Russia unless we see analyses of their impact on Slovakia. If there are to be such sanctions that will harm us, like most sanctions have, I can see no reason to support them."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was dismissive of Fico's statements, saying that "Slovakia did not have such a big share in the supply of weapons, so it will hardly affect the entire process."
Fico's new government, comprised of SMER, the social-democratic HLAS, and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party (SNS), was appointed by the country's President Zuzana Caputova on Oct. 25.
The populist leader vowed shortly after his appointment that Bratislava would maintain a "sovereign foreign policy." He has previously pledged that "not a single round" will be sent to Ukraine upon his election.