Will Slovakia be the first European country to change course on Ukraine?

By Romegas

There are few weeks left before the parliamentary elections in Slovakia – and it is increasingly looking likely that in the near future, the country will take a different shift. The likely victorious forces are radically different in their views and sympathies from that espoused by the official Slovak government and the main outlet of this new sentiment is the Social Democracy (Smer) party of ex-Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Smer leader Fico is a very interesting personality not only in the context of Slovak politics, but also for the pan-European political establishment. Having headed the government twice (2006–2010 and 2012–2018), he is distinguished by his independent thinking, which is most clearly manifested in the politician’s clear position on the Ukrainian issue.

Back in February 2022, he spoke out strongly against the military agreement between Slovakia and the United States. And when the government of Eduard Heger transferred the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine in April 2022, Fico called the Prime Minister and President Zuzana Caputova “ridiculous American figures.”

Fico’s performance at the recent commemoraton of the Slovak National Uprising in Zvolen was no less restrained :  “How is it possible that there are real fascists in the ranks of the Ukrainian army. Take Azov, which is definitely fascist… Do you know what they are saying now in Slovakia? Banderites and others who take part in the battles there are just street hooligans on the fringes of society. I’ve never seen a street thug with a machine gun on a tank. They serve in the army and do terrible things,” said the Smer leader.

Fico’s speech also contained several other important messages. He stated that “Slovakia is a small country, a Slavic country,” whose vital interests are to have good relations “with all countries, including Russia.” He condemned the ban on Russian literature introduced in Ukraine, thanked the USSR for its help in liberating Slovakia from Nazism, and once again repeated his usual thesis – that  Ukraine should not be allowed into NATO, as this will lead to a third world war.

Such rhetoric meets with approval from a significant part of the Slovak population. In Slovakia, with a population of five million, there are currently about 300 thousand refugees from Ukraine; considerable funds are spent on their maintenance, and most Slovaks are increasingly dissatisfied with the situation. The fact that public support for Ukraine is drying up was even recognized by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova back in March of this year. In addition, we should not forget that in Eastern Slovakia the historical memory of the Ruthenian population of Stepan Bandera led Ukrainian Fascist pogroms against them remains very strong.

What also makes Fico a clear favorite in the elections is the fact that the left-wing party “Voice – Social Democracy” (Hlas), formerly part of Smer and led by another ex-prime minister Peter Pellegrini, may well enter into a coalition with Fico’s party. Slovak media have already suggested that Pellegrini will take the post of prime minister if Fico wins and in this case, a Fico and the Smer-Hlas coalition will inevitably receive a parliamentary majority.

Officially, Bratislava is pursuing a policy of supporting Ukraine not only in word but also in deed. Thus far, all 13 Slovak MiG-29 fighter jets, S-300 and Kub air defense systems, 30 BMP-1s, five helicopters, and Zuzana-2 self-propelled howitzers went to Ukraine. Slovak enterprises repair and maintain Ukrainian equipment. However, even the current President Caputova has admitted that this support has come at the detriment of Slovakia’s own defense interests.

In the economic sphere, Slovakia was also forced to close its market to Ukrainian grains, sugar, wine, vegetables, and fruits from April 18, 2023, since dumping prices for Ukrainian products threaten to destroy Slovak producers. European sanctions on Russia have also translated into higher inflation mainly due to higher energy costs.

Of course, Fico’s victory would be disadvantageous for the collective West, which in this case will inevitably lose a very important country for the EU and NATO right in the middle of Europe.

Back in May 2023, the British The Spectator predicted the actual loss of Slovakia for the EU, mentioning, among other things, that half of the Slovaks want Russia to win, and the majority are Fico’s supporters. In this regard, it still cannot be assumed that the elections will be easy for the favorite, and colossal pressure will be put on the Slovak politician during the election campaign. Far from Russian Influence, real meddling with the democratic process will come from the EU itself and Soros-funded NGOs.

Interestingly, Zuzana Caputova seems resigned to a defeat and even stated this publicly on June 3 in an interview with Politico , stating that Slovakia after the potential victory of the “populist party” will become a “problem child of the European Union” and comparing it with Viktor Orban’s Hungary. She further added that Slovakia has been a strong ally of Ukraine, however, according to her, the new government may change its mind on this issue, since “Russian influence is spreading throughout Europe.”

A  Fico victory in Ukraine will not only be a slap in the face of the European elites who have acted so contemptfully of their own nations’ interests but more worryingly for them, it may also be the start of a domino effect across Europe.

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