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Zelensky criticizes pro-Kremlin sentiment in Slovakia

by Martin Fornusek July 8, 2023 12:18 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová during Zelensky's state visit to Bratislava, Slovakia on July 7, 2023. (President's Office)
This audio is created with AI assistance

President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 7 lashed out at the pro-Kremlin views of some of Slovakia's residents, saying that a pro-Russian position is a "pro-terrorist" one.

"What are pro-Russian views?... They are aggressors, they came to someone else's land, and they attacked us and killed, raped, and tortured people. How can one adhere to such views?" Zelensky said at a press conference in Bratislava. "What is a pro-Russian position? It's a pro-terrorist position, and it's wrong."

Zelensky also emphasized that a pro-Ukrainian position means a pro-European position.

According to a poll from September 2022, more than half of the Slovaks would prefer Russia's victory in its war against Ukraine. Another survey from last year showed that 45% of the population believes that NATO is to blame for the invasion.

Slovak officials and experts have repeatedly warned against the influence of Russian disinformation in the country.

In spite of these sentiments, Bratislava has steadily supported Ukraine through humanitarian assistance and military supplies, including Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets.

During the press conference, Zelensky thanked Slovakia for its support and solidarity. In turn, his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Čaputová said that Ukraine's future is in NATO.

Zelensky arrived in Slovakia earlier on July 7. This is part of a series of state visits ahead of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius on July 11-12 where Ukraine hopes to receive a "clear signal" on its potential membership in the alliance.

Zelensky has already visited the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Turkey as part of his foreign tour.

Zelensky argues with Bulgarian president over his opposition to arming Ukraine
During his July 6 visit to Sofia, President Volodymyr Zelensky argued with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev over his negative stance on arming Ukraine in a televised meeting cited by Politico.
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