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Slovakia halts military aid to Ukraine

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Čaputová has rejected a plan by the country’s interim government to provide further military aid to Ukraine, APNews reports.

Zuzana Čaputová said that the government was not authorised to do so, while the parties opposing such support were negotiating to form a government following last week’s elections.

The Office of the President said on Thursday that the current technocrat government has only limited powers because it lost a binding vote of confidence in parliament on 15 June, a month after President Zuzana Čaputová swore it in.

The cabinet of technocrats was set up to prepare the country for Saturday’s early elections.

On Monday, Čaputová asked the leader of the winning party in the election to try to form a coalition government. Populist former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his leftist Smer, or Direction, party won 22.9 per cent of the vote on Saturday. It will have 42 seats in the 150-seat parliament.

One of Fico’s election promises was to withhold military aid to Ukraine from Slovakia, and his victory jeopardises the fragile unity in the EU and NATO. Fico has two weeks to form a parliamentary majority, for which he is already in talks with two other parties.

The presidential office said that Čaputová, who always supported of Ukraine and had visited Kyiv twice since the war began in February 2022, had not changed her opinion on the need for military aid to Ukraine.

However, the statement said that:

“Approving a military aid package by the current outgoing government would create a risky precedent for the change of power after any future elections.”

It said that the president would support any military assistance offered by any government with full powers.

Slovakia has been supportive of Ukraine, providing it with arms, including a fleet of Soviet MiG-29 fighter jets. The interim government planned to send ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces and to train Ukrainian soldiers in demining.

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