The success of the Smer-SD party in the Slovak election was met with scepticism in Ukraine. In his first statement after the victory, the Smer party leader Robert Fico emphasized that his position on Ukraine has stayed the same.
Fico wants “peace talks” between Ukraine and Russia
After the Smer-SD party won the early parliamentary election in Slovakia, its leader, Robert Fico, said he would do everything possible for “peace talks” between Ukraine and Russia.
Fico’s stance on Ukraine and Russia:
- supports the suspension of military aid to Ukraine;
- opposes Ukraine’s membership in NATO;
- promised to extend the ban on Ukrainian agricultural imports.
- said he was ready to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine but strongly opposed any assistance with weapons.
Fico said he would do everything to stimulate negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.
“If Smer is offered to form a government… I will do everything, including within the European Union, to ensure peace talks begin as soon as possible,” Fico emphasized.
However, as the talks do not depend much on Slovakia while Russia continues its war and invasion, this declaration tends to be purely populist.
Robert Fico also cynically stated that Slovakia has more severe problems than Ukraine, while Ukraine suffers Russia’s war and missile and combat drone attacks daily.
Who is Robert Fico?
Former Prime Minister of Slovakia with pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian views. Leader of the centre-left party called Smer – social democracy or Smer-SD.
Fico served two Slovakian Prime minister mandates from 2006 to 2010 and 2012 to 2018, both marred by allegations of corruption and concerns of authoritarianism.
In 2018, Fico resigned due to the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiance. After Robert Fico lost the 2020 election, his party broke up, and many observers believed his political career was over. But Fico has since pulled off a successful comeback to the Slovak political stage.
Fico accused Georgia of provocation when it attacked South Ossetia during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. During his term as Prime Minister, the Slovak Foreign Ministry condemned the Crimean referendum that Russia used to illegally annexe Crimea.
Fico’s stance in foreign policy has consistently been pro-Russian
Regarding the EU sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 for the Crimea annexation, Fico called them “senseless” and a “threat to the Slovak economy.”
In 2016, Fico stated that the sanctions had not affected Russian policies. “Sanctions harm the EU and Russia while benefiting the US.” “I reject them, but I will not break the EU’s unity over it,” he said.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, Fico opposed the transfer of MiG-29 aircraft from Slovakia to Ukraine. He spread Kremlin narratives and lied that the war in Donbas in 2014 was allegedly started not by Moscow but by “Ukrainian fascists”.
Fico has compared a NATO battlegroup in Slovakia to Nazi soldiers and portrayed the Ukrainian situation as a confrontation between the US and Russia. He claimed that allowing Ukraine to join NATO would result in World War III.
Fico blamed Ukraine and the West for initiating the war when Russia launched an all-out war against Ukraine, even though Russian troops violated international law by invading a sovereign nation. However, Ukraine has been subjected to an unjust, unprovoked, and relentless war launched by Putin’s regime.