Slovakia has so far been one of Kiev’s staunchest supporters since the Russian invasion in February last year, donating weapons and opening its borders to refugees fleeing the war.
Slovakia’s new Prime Minister, Robert Fico, announced on Thursday that he would stop delivering weapons to Ukraine, and limited support to his neighbor to “humanitarian and civilian aid.”
A day after he was appointed head of a coalition government that included a pro-Russian far-right party, Fico announced: “We view the aid provided to Ukraine as humanitarian and civilian aid only, and we will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine.”
He added: “The war in Ukraine is not our war, and we have nothing to do with it.”
He believes that “an immediate cessation of military operations is the best solution for Ukraine. The European Union must move from being an arms supplier to a peacemaker.”
The Kremlin immediately responded to this announcement, downplaying its importance.
Slovakia’s share of arms shipments [to Kyiv] “It wasn’t really that great, that’s why it won’t affect the whole process,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press, before again accusing the United States of fueling the conflict by helping Ukraine.
During his statements to members of the European Parliament, Fico also announced that he would not support new sanctions on Russia “until we analyze their impact on Slovakia.”
He stressed, “If such sanctions will harm us, as is the case with most sanctions, I see no reason to support them.”