Slovak liberals promise to keep support for Ukraine after election

Slovakia’s liberal Progressive Slovakia party will continue to support Ukraine along with its European and NATO partners if it stays in power after the September 30 election.

According to Reuters, Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Šimečka made this statement.

Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Šimečka called the September 30 election a choice between continuity and drastic change if former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party forms the next government.

Pro-Russian politician Fico promised a foreign policy u-turn if he wins the Slovakia’s September 30 election.

Fico can become Putin’s Trojan horse’s partner – Šimečka

“This will mean a turn to the east (towards Russia – ed.) and the threat of Slovakia’s isolation. Until now, (Hungarian Prime Minister – ed.) Viktor Orban has been (Russian President Vladimir – ed.) Putin’s lone Trojan horse in Europe, and there is a real threat that Robert Fico will become his partner if he wins”.

Michal Šimečka, Progressive Slovakia leader

Slovakia has sent Ukraine an air defence system, MiG-29 fighter jets and other military aid in response to the Russian invasion.

Last year, the country’s centre-right government collapsed, and since May, a technocrat government has been in power, leading the country to elections while maintaining its foreign policy course.

Progressive Slovakia stands for geopolitical line of support for Ukraine

“I stand for the clear geopolitical line of support for Ukraine and the adherence to common European positions. We will maintain continuity. We will be open to further support for Ukraine in any practical way”.

Michal Šimečka, Progressive Slovakia leader

Smer’s leader Fico vowed to stop aid to Ukraine

Smer’s leader, Robert Fico, on the other hand, has promised to stop military aid to Ukraine, and his party wants a cessation of fighting and a diplomatic solution to the war.

Read also: Slovakia election: Fico focuses his campaign on anti-Ukraine, pro-Russian narratives

Progressive Slovakia, together with its coalition partner, won the 2019 European Parliament elections in Slovakia with 20.1% of the vote but failed to win seats in the national election a year later.

According to Politico’s latest public opinion poll in early September, Smer-SD is leading with 20%, while Progressive Slovakia has 16% support.

No single party is expected to win a majority, and who will form the next government will depend on the position of smaller parties, ranging from liberal to pro-Russian far-right, which will form coalitions with larger parties.

Read more in our article Slovakia Election 2023 and possible pro-Russian revanche – a headache for the West 

President Čaputová worries that Slovakia’s foreign policy may become similar to Orban’s if Fico wins

Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová stated she is concerned that after the upcoming parliamentary election, the country’s foreign policy stance may become similar to that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which is anti-EU and pro-Moscow.

The Slovak President told Politico she is anxious about the spread of disinformation in the country and that an upcoming election could deteriorate Slovakia’s support for Ukraine.

Read also: Slovakia 2023 Election: combatting disinformation under DSA

Asked why Russian narratives are echoing with parts of Slovak society, Zuzana Čaputová said it’s a mix of a “positive attitude to common Slavic roots,” a specific view of history, the impact of disinformation and “maybe mistakes in the communication of democratic political leaders.”

Read more about the pre-election situation in Slovakia and threats to Europe’s unity in our article: Slovakia’s election possible outcome and disinformation impact.

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