The demand of former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party to end military aid to neighboring Ukraine could lead Slovakia into a political crisis and destabilize the European Union.
After a center-right coalition cabinet lost a vote of no confidence in December over disagreements between the ruling parties, the NATO and EU member state is due to hold elections in September.
Fico’s Smer-SD party, or Direction Social Democracy, won 16.2% of the vote in a poll conducted by the IPSOS agency for the news website Dennikn. sk, which was published on Friday. This put it ahead of the Hlas (Voice) party, which was founded by a centrist faction that split from Smer and received 16 percent of the vote.
Dennikn. sk reported that the survey was conducted from March 7–9 among 1,017 participants.
As Fico has referred to as “Western propaganda,” Smer has adopted a more caustic tone in his criticism of Brussels.
Fico said last month that “Ukrainian fascists” launched the conflict in Ukraine in 2014 and that there was no chance for Ukraine to reclaim the Crimea that Russia had acquired.
According to the survey, nine parties, including the Democrats party founded only on Tuesday by incumbent Prime Minister Eduard Heger, have a possibility of obtaining seats in the next parliamentary elections in Slovakia. It received 4.8% of the vote, barely shy of the 5% needed to win seats.
Even if Fico receives the most votes, it could be challenging for him to form a coalition with parties other than the far-right Republic party.
If neither Fico and the extreme right nor the liberal-conservative camp can put together a majority, the Voice party may end up being the deciding factor after the election.
The present administration has sent armaments to Kyiv in support of Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion and is considering transferring its fleet of MiG-29 fighter planes that are currently on the ground.
Robert Fico’s pro-Russian stance came under scrutiny as early as June 2015, days before the then-Prime Minister trip to Moscow, when Russian state television aired a propaganda program on various topics, including the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
In addition, Robert Fico, as Prime Minister of Slovakia, has increasingly dragged Slovakia into energy dependence on Russia.