Slovak Defense Minister announces halt to arms shipments to Ukraine

Slovak Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák (right) and US Ambassador to Slovakia Gautam Rana (left)
Slovak Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák (right) and US Ambassador to Slovakia Gautam Rana (left)

Slovakia will no longer supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, Slovakia’s recently appointed Defense Minister, Robert Kaliňák, has said during a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Gautam Rana.

“We gave the position of the Slovak government to the U.S. ambassador at the meeting - we will not send new shipments from Slovak munition warehouses to Ukraine and the defense agreement will have to be amended,” Kaliňák wrote on Facebook on Oct. 28.

Read also: Slovakia the most pro-Russian EU country, says Ukrainian diplomat

The pro-Russian Smer-SD party, led by populist Robert Fico, secured victory in Slovakia’s parliamentary elections on Oct. 1, receiving 23.29% of the vote. Fico has confirmed his intention to cease assistance to Ukraine.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova’s advisor expressed concerns about the approval of a military aid package to Kyiv by the outgoing government. They argued that such approval could set a risky precedent for any future change of power following elections. Caputova herself has since voiced support for the continuation of this assistance.

Read also: Slovakia formally accuses Russia of trying to influence election through disinformation

Subsequently, Slovakia’s interim government declared that the country would cease sending military aid to Ukraine.

Fico informed Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, on Oct. 26 that his government would no longer provide military assistance to Ukraine. Fico is a staunch opponent of supporting Ukraine and its aspirations to join NATO.

Fico has also been known to propagate false Russian narratives, inventing claims that the “war began in 2014 when Ukrainian nationalists and fascists started killing Russian citizens in Donbas and Luhansk.”

Fico also firmly believes that Russia, the aggressor in the conflict, “will never relinquish control of Crimea and the territories it currently holds.”

Read also: Slovak military aid to Ukraine halted to avoid risky precedent during change of power

In addition, Fico criticizes sanctions against Russia, advocates for closer ties with Moscow following the conclusion of the war, and pledges to veto Ukraine’s NATO membership “if such an opportunity arises.”

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine