‘My people have bigger problems than Ukraine’ – EU state’s election winner

Lazy eyes listen


Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) leader Robert Fico warned media on Sunday that his party will not approve more military help to Ukraine. The coalition won the parliamentary elections over the weekend and is now prepared to begin discussions about creating a government.

“Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” he stated at a press conference after the election results were announced. The SMER-SD received approximately 23% of the vote, with Progressive Slovakia (PS) garnering approximately 18%.

When asked about his party’s attitude on assisting Kiev, Fico stated that if his party enters a government, he would still be willing to assist, but only in a humanitarian capacity. “We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he said.

The SMER-SD conducted an election campaign under the slogan “Not a single round,” suggesting that it would end military assistance to Kiev. An EU and NATO member state with a population of around 5.5 million, Slovakia has already supplied Ukrainian forces with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets.

At one of his campaign rallies last week, Fico promised that if his party won the election, he would not “send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine.” On Sunday, the former prime minister branded the current dispute as a grave tragedy, adding that prolonging the impasse will only make matters worse.

“We will do everything possible to begin peace talks as soon as possible,” he said, alluding to the confrontation between Moscow and Kiev. “Further killing benefits no one,” Fico continued.

On Sunday, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova indicated she would formally urge Fico to form a new administration on Monday.

Slovakia will need to establish a coalition government because no party is expected to gain a majority. The pro-European HLAS (Voice) party, which finished third with 14.7% of the vote, did not exclude out forming an alliance with SMER-SD. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also congratulated Fico on his election triumph, saying it would “always [be] good to work together with a patriot.”

The success of Fico and his party has apparently raised anxieties in the United States. Washington, according to Russian foreign intelligence, sought to maintain the former Slovakian government in office.