‘Treason’ – Slovak defense minister says his predecessor betrayed nation by transferring jets to Ukraine, files criminal complaint

Last year, Slovakia donated 13 Mig-29 fighters to Ukraine and there could now be criminal consequnces

Former Slovak Defens Minister Jaroslav Nad'. (ma7.sk)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Slovak Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák denounced as treason his predecessor’s decision to donate MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine last spring and has filed a criminal complaint that could result in prosecution and prison time.

“To weaken the armed forces in such a way against the constitution can only be called treason in our political vocabulary. There is no other term for it,” said the Slovak deputy prime minister and defense minister.

Former Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď responded to the criticism by saying he would make the same decision again.

The Slovak Defense Ministry has also announced that it plans to take legal action in the case, pointing out that the Heger cabinet, acting as the caretaker government, had no authority to decide on the transfer of the fighter jets. The ministry’s state secretary, Igor Melicher, said in this context that they had tried to find in the ministry’s documents the alleged legal analysis referred to by the then head of the ministry, Jaroslav Naď.

In March 2023, Slovakia handed over its entire fighter aircraft fleet, 13 MiG-29s and a Soviet-developed “Kub” anti-aircraft missile system, to Ukraine, under the caretaker government of Prime Minister Eduard Heger.

The move, and the Heger government’s Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď, came under much criticism at the time. The then opposition Smer and the Hlas parties claimed that the Heger cabinet, as the caretaker government, had no authority to take a decision on such a crucial issue. Several extraordinary sessions of parliament were called, but none of them could be opened due to parliamentary obstruction by members of the governing parties.

Now, the current defense minister, Robert Kaliňák, says former Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď weakened the Slovak armed forces by donating MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, a decision that was contrary to the provisions of the Slovak constitution.

Although the former head of the ministry had posted a document on social media, no such document could be found, nor any evidence that such an expert opinion had been commissioned or produced.

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