Anti-Ukraine War Politician Wins in Slovakia Election
Oct. 1, 2023, (EIRNS)—“Immediate peace negotiations,” are what Slovakian national election winner Robert Fico demands. “It is better to negotiate peace for 10 years and stop military operations than to let the Ukrainians and Russians kill each other for another 10 years without results.”
Twice former prime minister of Slovakia and critic of the current pro-NATO government, Fico won with only 22.9% of the vote, so he will have to form a coalition with other parties to become prime minister for a third time. The war party is nervous that he could succeed. The election Sept. 30 was a test for the small Eastern European country’s support for neighboring Ukraine in its war against Russia, and the win by Fico could strain a fragile unity in the European Union and NATO, reports AP. Fico, 59, vowed to withdraw Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine in Russia’s war if he succeeded in returning to power.
That nervousness was clearly reflected in a report in the Telegraph posted on Sept. 29, where Fico said in an interview that “arming Ukraine brings nothing but killing” and that Slovakia was running out of weapons to send to Ukraine anyway. “It is better to negotiate peace for 10 years and stop military operations than to let the Ukrainians and Russians kill each other for another ten years without results,” he said. “This is not the way to resolve the conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” he added before calling for “immediate peace negotiations.” Fico also wants to end economic sanctions against Moscow, which he blames for soaring inflation and a spiraling cost of living crisis at home.
The Telegraph considers that Fico’s rhetoric has sparked fears of a dramatic volte face. “Slovakia’s high-stakes parliamentary election will dictate whether the country continues on its pro-Western policy track,” said Sili Tian, Europe analyst, at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “It is one of the most fierce supporters of Ukraine within NATO,” said Daniel Hegedüs, a senior fellow focusing on Central and Eastern Europe at the German Marshall Fund think tank, “and this gives extraordinary importance to the Slovak elections.”
Fico could join forces with Hungary’s pro-Putin Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to undermine new EU sanctions, which require the unanimous support of all 27 member states. A Fico victory could also swell a soft underbelly of NATO and EU members wavering in their support for Ukraine as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.