‘There is no military solution!’ — Slovakia halts military aid to Ukraine

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico arrives for a roundtable meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

Slovakia is the latest European country to announce it will no longer send military aid to Ukraine, newly appointed Prime Minister Robert Fico announced on Thursday.

Speaking to the Slovak parliamentary committee for European affairs ahead of departing for a two-day European Council summit, Fico questioned the effectiveness of ongoing military support for Kyiv, which to date has not resulted in a solution to the conflict in the neighboring country.

“After a year of greasing and killing each other, the Russians have greater territorial gains than Ukraine. So explain to me what will happen in a year. After all, we see that there is no military solution,” he said, as cited by the Denník N newspaper.

The victor of Slovakia’s early parliamentary elections held late last month told fellow lawmakers that the Slovak military must begin to prioritize its own stockpile of weapons, echoing the sentiment expressed by Poland’s outgoing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki last month.

He also warned European Union leaders that Slovakia would not endorse plans to impose any further sanctions on Russia without a full analysis of the consequences of such measures.

Western military support to Ukraine has been steadfast since the Russian invasion of the country’s eastern territory in February last year. However, Kyiv’s closest ally, Poland, demonstrated the growing fatigue felt across Europe toward the drawn-out war, which shows no immediate sign of ending, by withdrawing its military support.

Visegrád nations are gradually shifting toward the policy advocated by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the outset of the war; he refused to provide arms to Ukraine despite the insistence of its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and instead chose to prioritize humanitarian support for civilians.

Fico’s electoral win now sees Slovakia adopt a similar position with the Slovak prime minister reiterating his country’s willingness to help Ukraine in a humanitarian and civil way.

“There we are ready to help with open arms,” he told parliamentary colleagues.

Fico was due to meet with European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič ahead of talks between EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, where the issue of Ukraine was expected to be firmly on the agenda.

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