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Slovakia suspends arms deliveries to Ukraine

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Slovakia – The victory of Robert Fico and his party, Smer-SD, in Slovakia’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, September 30 is already having consequences, even though a new government coalition has not yet been formed. In addition to the fact that the interim government has decided to put in place anti-migrant controls at the Hungarian border for ten days in response to similar measures taken by Poland, Czechia, and Austria along their borders with Slovakia, on Wednesday, October 4 the country’s liberal, pro-Ukrainian president, Zuzana Čaputová, blocked the Slovakian government from sending more military deliveries to Ukraine..

Martin Sklenár, who is the minister for defence in the Slovak interim government was planning to provide Ukraine with a new military aid package, including ammunition for T-72 tanks and other types of ammunition. Čaputová has blocked this decision, however, even though she said she was personally in favour of it. She argued that it was necessary to respect the results of the parliamentary elections won by the centre-left Smer-SD party. Smer-SD’s leader, former PM Robert Fico, promised voters during the electoral campaign that he would put an end to Slovak military aid to Kyiv. On Monday, October 2, President Čaputová  entrusted Fico with the task of forming a new government within two weeks.

Respecting election results

Mrs Čaputová’s spokesman, Martin Strižinec, clarified the president’s position, saying:

The interim cabinet, which will operate until a new Slovak government is formed, has no mandate to transfer arms to Ukraine,

as the party negotiating the formation of a government is opposed to it. […] All the political parties negotiating a new government today […] categorically reject this aid. In this situation, 

deciding to supply military equipment would not set a good precedent for the transfer of political power after the elections.

Prague deplores Bratislava’s decision

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who is a political ally of Zuzana Čaputová, has criticized Bratislava’s decision as follows:

It’s difficult for me to comment on another country’s decision for obvious reasons, but I hope it’s not rude to say that I don’t consider this action by Slovakia to be favourable.

[…] Ukraine needs our help, and it needs it fast, as it is fighting not only for its independence, but also for peace in Europe. That’s why we must seize every opportunity to help Ukraine.