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Slovakia halts military aid to Ukraine following election

by Sonya Bandouil October 5, 2023 5:19 AM 2 min read
Slovak President Zuzana Caputova sits with newly-elected Prime Minister Robert Fico during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia on Oct. 2, 2023. (Photo by Vladimir Simicek / AFP via Getty Images)
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Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová has opposed sending additional military assistance to Ukraine following the electoral victory of pro-Russian Robert Fico and his party SMER, the Slovak news outlet Dennik N reported on Oct. 4.

According to the report, the Slovak Defense Ministry had prepared a new assistance package for Ukraine that Čaputová could have signed while Fico's predecessor was still in office, but the president declined, saying the parliamentary elections must be respected.

Fico is Slovakia's former prime minister. His party, SMER, won a narrow victory in Slovakia's Sept. 30 elections. While the margins were not high enough to give SMER complete control over the government, they will be able to form a coalition with another party.

At that point, Fico will likely serve another term as prime minister.

Fico has echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s false narratives surrounding the invasion of Ukraine. His main campaign slogan promised that “not a single round” will be sent to Ukraine.

He has also advocated ending military support for Ukrainian defense, blocking NATO membership for Ukraine, and urging negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow.

Hungarian Prime Minister and close ally Viktor Orban congratulated Fico.

“Congratulations to Robert Fico on his undisputable victory at the Slovak parliamentary elections. Always good to work together with a patriot,” Orban said on the platform X, formerly Twitter.

Orban has also opposed sanctions and aid to Ukraine.

Slovakia has been a prominent ally to Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb. 2022, sending multiple aid packages and 13 Mig-29 fighter jets.

Before Fico’s election, Slovakia was the sixth largest provider of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, according to NBC News.

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