‘Morally and financially exhausted’ – Slovakia doesn’t have any more capacity to aid Ukraine

President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová walks to meet French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élyéee Palace in Paris, in Paris, France, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Support for Ukraine in Slovakia is “morally and financially exhausted,” Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová said at a foreign policy conference in Bratislava. She stated that Slovakia’s potential is not unlimited and argued for an increase in defense spending.

Čaputová said that the population of the country remains willing to accept Ukrainian refugees. However, a recent Eurostat survey showed that the majority of people believe that their own living standards have decreased with the arrival of refugees, “despite the data clearly pointing to the successful integration of refugees into the labor market.”

The head of state also said that “disinformation and misinterpretation” were being used by some to reduce public support for “the steps taken by the country.”

Čaputová expressed her satisfaction that Slovakia is “standing up for the principles of the rule of law, despite the fact that there are countries in the region that are working to weaken the rule of law.” She did not name the countries, but the left-liberal mainstream in the EU and the press routinely claim Hungary and Poland are violating the “rule of law” in the region.

She later said that “there is a growing risk that the foreign policy “they” represent will lose support in (Slovak) society.”

“NATO, which is seen by most of its neighbors as a guarantee of stability in the current security crisis, has the lowest support (here) among all member states,” she said, adding that disinformation and deliberate misinterpretations at home and abroad were widening the gap between foreign policy decisions and public opinion.

“This unfavorable domestic situation makes us vulnerable in a world that has changed radically in the past year because of war,” she said, adding that the “circle of those calling for a world order based on spheres of influence,” including China and Iran, in addition to Russia, is growing louder. “That is why it is important to have as much consensus as possible in society about which side we are on, who our partners are, and who our allies are. It is key that we are members of the EU and NATO,” she said.

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