On October 25, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova approved a new government headed by Smer-SD party leader Robert Fico, known for several pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian statements.
During the ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Caputova said that the new government faced various challenges, including rising energy and food prices, as well as the level of education and healthcare.
The Slovakian President expressed hope that Fico’s government would continue good relations with neighbouring countries, including Ukraine, which is at war with Russia.
For his part, the new prime minister thanked Caputova for appointing his government, reminding her that he was the fourth time he has become prime minister of Slovakia. Fico also said that the new government would pursue a “sovereign foreign policy”.
The key positions in the new Slovak government are taken by officials who are not supportive of Ukraine in the context of the EU strong support to Kyiv to fight the Russian war aggression.
Slovakia’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs has become Yuri Blanar, a former engineer with no diplomatic experience. He called the war against Ukraine a “conflict between Russia and the United States”, claimed that Kyiv was “fighting against its own people”, and opposed the transfer of weapons to Ukraine.
Slovakia’s Ministry of Defence is headed by Robert Kaliniak, a former Interior Minister who resigned after the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and was previously accused of corruption.
Other members of Robert Fico’s cabinet who received media attention included Minister of Culture Martina Šimkovičová, who made 28 mistakes in her 36-line candidate application.
Following the recent parliamentary elections in Slovakia, a coalition of Eurosceptic and pro-Russian forces has been formed. Former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, a representative of the Voice party, which is the second party in the coalition, became the speaker of the parliament.