Slovak far-right politician in European Parliament spreads Russian propaganda

Milan Uhrik is a Slovak politician elected to the European Parliament in 2019. He was a member of Kotleba’s far-right People’s Party of “Our Slovakia” until 2021 when he turned the former HZD party into Respublika, his own far-right party.

The Republic party’s leader wants to hold a referendum on NATO exit. Far-right leader and MEP Milan Uhrk reaffirmed the idea of a vote on Slovakia leaving NATO. This call contradicts potential coalition allies, including Smer, the party of solid frontrunner and former Prime Minister, pro-Russian leader Robert Fico.

Republika is currently polling around 8% and is running for a seat in a new potential coalition. However, Uhrk’s repeated mention of the party’s plans to hold an anti-NATO referendum has likely diminished its chances of joining a coalition with Smer, despite Fico saying he had “no gripes” with the far-right party.

Uhirk’s far-right views

Uhirk’s movement attempts to position itself as a more mature political force, but its ideology remains firmly rooted in the extreme right.

In March 2022, its members went to the Ukrainian border and recorded Africans attempting to exit the war-torn country while making bigoted remarks about “economic migration.”

Ex-members of the SNS party, whose leader Marian Kotleba was recently convicted to four years in prison for employing Nazi insignia, founded Republika in 2019.

The Republika party, which has strong voter support and is expected to win parliamentary seats in early elections set for September 30, can join a coalition if Smer wins.

Milan Uhrik has previously stated that Slovakia should remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war and refrain from providing military support to Ukraine. It contradicts the current EU policy of support for Ukraine and the decisions of the present centre-right-liberal Slovakian government. 

Uhrik, a Member of the European Parliament, opposes also the EU’s policies on migration, climate protection, and LGBT rights and argues for a union focused exclusively on economic cooperation.

Read more in our article: Marian Kotleba – nazi ideologist, EU hater and Russia backer is running for election

Uhrik’s support for Russian propaganda 

Slovak politician and European Parliament member Milan Uhrik supported Russian propaganda about supposed Ukrainian atrocities.

“Where was Europe when Ukrainian mercenaries were killing children in Donbas or burning civilians in Odesa?”

Milan Uhrik

A striking example of the diversionary tactics used by Slovak pro-Kremlin actors on issues related to Russia’s war crimes is Milan Ugric’s speech at a debate in the European Parliament on the need to bring the Russian political and military leadership to justice for the crimes of war aggression against Ukraine. 

This argument is incredibly manipulative, and it involves the concealment of several critical truths. First, Slovakian Kremlin apologists hide the reality that sanctions against Russia were established in response to the unlawful invasion and thus not sanctions, but Russia’s war against Ukraine is the root cause of high energy prices.

Furthermore, the EU has not imposed any gas sanctions, and the Kremlin can postpone deliveries at its discretion. Moreover, Moscow has already disrupted gas supply to Europe until February 2022, causing prices to skyrocket.

“Okay, but when will a tribunal be set up to investigate American war crimes in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, or crimes in Donbas?”, – Milan Uhrik. He also alleged that a possible tribunal investigating Russia’s crimes would be “another political tribunal with pre-written decisions”. This approach comes too close to denying the necessity to bring those responsible for war crimes to justice.

Uhrik – Smer connection

The Party of European Socialists has backed former Slovak Prime Minister and Smer party leader Robert Fico, a pro-Kremlin politician after he announced cooperation with the far-right Republika movement and compared NATO forces to Nazi troops.

European socialists have been repeatedly urged to take action against Smer-SD, their Slovak member party. Slovak MEPs write in an open letter that their leader, Robert Fico, “assists the spread of Kremlin propaganda.”

Fico has also publicly stated his desire to form a coalition with the extreme far-right.

“We have no problem with them,” said Fico of the Republika movement, led by non-affiliated MEP Milan Uhrk, who declined to denounce the Holocaust due to “not being a historian” and whose speech on the Ukrainian war was booed in the European Parliament.

Smer-SD was the first party to have its membership in the Party of European Socialists suspended for ten months in 2006 due to their ruling coalition with the Slovak National Party, with whom they also intend to partner after the next election.

The socialists, on the other hand, are now supporting their Slovak member, whom they threatened to suspend in 2015 due to its leader’s anti-migration statements.

“Today, we see that our warning about the cooperation of Smer-SD with fascists has proven true. The leader of Smer-SD openly and publicly speaks of future cooperation with the fascist movement Republika, ” 

The letter was addressed to PES and S&D leadership.

Uhrik’s issues with court 

Milan Uhrík, chair of the extremist Republika party, has been ordered by a court to delete parts of a social media post over claims he made about a prominent Slovak scientist.

Parts of the post that the court ordered removed characterised Čekan as a wealthy man who profited from the Coronavirus pandemic, while another criticised his company.

The court also ordered Uhrik to pay all of Čekan’s legal bills. Akan demanded that Uhrk apologise publicly.

“Lying and incitement to hatred must not become a common part of public space,” he stated in a social media post.

Milan Uhric is a right-wing radical in the European Parliament, supporting anti-NATO and anti-EU views, which repeats Russian narratives and benefits the Kremlin. In the context of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and geopolitical tensions between the EU and Moscow, an increase in far-right and pro-Kremlin presence in the legislative bodies might pose a threat to Europe’s stability and security.

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