NATO members are considering sending troops to Ukraine, Slovak PM Robert Fico claims

FILE - Chairman of SMER-Social Democracy party Robert Fico arrives at his party's headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, the day after an early parliamentary election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Several NATO member states are considering deploying troops to Ukraine, according to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico — a move that would dramatically escalate tensions between Russia and the West.

The left-wing populist leader told a televised briefing following a meeting of Slovakia’s security council on Monday that “a number of NATO and EU member states are considering sending their troops to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.”

“I cannot say for what purpose and what they should be doing there,” he added.

The Slovak leader published a video later on Monday following a meeting of EU leaders in Paris to discuss ongoing Western support for Ukraine, in which he accused his European counterparts of supporting the war “at all costs.”

“I can comment on the atmosphere of the meeting. It was a war atmosphere. Supporting the war at all costs, doing everything to continue the war,” Fico said.

“I was very surprised that not a single word was said about a peace plan or peace initiative,” he added, saying the discussions had sent “shivers down his spine.”

Fico’s remarks concerning the deployment of troops in Ukraine were met with conflicting statements from EU leaders following the meeting in Paris.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala insisted his government was “certainly not preparing to send any soldiers to Ukraine, nobody has to worry about that,” while French President Emmanuel Macron said: “There is no consensus today to send ground troops… but nothing should be excluded. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that Russia cannot win this war.”

NATO, meanwhile, refused to comment on the Slovak’s remarks.

Following his electoral victory late last year, Fico has become another prominent voice against indefinite support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. He has sided with the minority opinion among European leaders of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a longstanding critic of sending arms to Kyiv and an advocate of an immediate ceasefire and peace talks as soon as possible.

“Stop senselessly sending hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers to their deaths under the illusion that you will bring Putin to his knees,” Fico said earlier this month in a video posted on social media.

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