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Slovakia may stop providing military support to Ukraine

Former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his left-wing Smer (Direction) party took the top spot in the country’s parliamentary elections with a pro-Russian and anti-American campaign.

Mr Fico and his party came first with over 23 per cent of the votes, followed by the pro-Western party Progressive Slovakia (18 per cent) and the left-wing party Hlas (Voice) (15 per cent). If the Hlas Party, led by Mr Fico’s former deputy at Smer, Peter Pellegrini, and the pro-Russian Slovak National Party, which received 5.7 per cent of the vote, join together in a coalition government, they will win a parliamentary majority.

Mr Pellegrini and Mr Fico’s political paths diverged after Smer had lost the previous election in 2020. Mr Pellegrini, himself a former prime minister, congratulated Mr Fico, saying that two former prime ministers in the same government might not work well “but that doesn’t mean such a coalition can’t be formed”.

Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Simecka, also deputy president of the European Parliament, said his party respected the result but “it’s bad news for Slovakia.” Slovakia has supported Ukraine since the war began in February 2022, providing weapons and opening its borders to refugees.

During his election campaign, Mr Fico promised to stop Slovakia supplying arms to Ukraine if he returned to power. Mr Fico believes that “Ukrainian neo-Nazis and fascists” are to blame for the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine in 2022. During the campaign he said:

“The Soviets freed us from the Nazis, we should show some respect. We must tell the whole world that freedom comes from the East; war always comes from the West.”

The Ordinary People group, the conservative Christian Democrats and the Freedom and Solidarity party also won seats in parliament.

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