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New Slovak government rejects $43 million military aid package for Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 8, 2023 11:09 PM 2 min read
The chairman of the Hlas political party Peter Pellegrini, the chairman of the Smer party Robert Fico and the chairman of the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party Andrej Danko give a press conference at the National Council building after signing a "Memorandum of understanding and cooperation" in Bratislava, Slovakia, on October 11, 2023. (Vladimir Simicek / AFP via Getty Images)
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Slovakia's newly-appointed government has rejected delivering the 40.3-million-euro ($43.2 million) military aid package for Ukraine proposed by its predecessor, Slovak media reported on Nov. 8.

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 left-wing Hlas party and the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova could have approved the new military aid package before Fico officially entered office, but reportedly declined on the basis that it would not honor the result of the elections, according to Slovak media.

The package intended for Ukraine included over 5,000 piece of 125mm cannon ammunition, 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 140 KUB air defense rockets, and 1,200 mines.

The Slovak government will help Ukraine with humanitarian aid, "not militarily," Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok, who represents the Hlas party, said on Facebook.

"We want peace, not war," the minister said.  

Media reports at the end of October already suggested that Prime Minister Robert Fico would no longer send arms to Ukraine and would also promote this stance on a European level.

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

Fico said on Nov. 6, however, that his government will not prevent arms sales from Slovak companies to Ukraine.

"If some company wants to produce arms and export them somewhere, nobody is going to prevent that, of course," Fico said.

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