Slovakia’s newly elected PM has vowed to supply “zero” military aid to Kiev
The Slovak government no longer sees a viable “military solution” to the conflict in Ukraine, the country’s top diplomat has said, adding that Bratislava could soon urge Kiev to seek “peace initiatives” with assistance from the European Union.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar said that while officials would like to continue humanitarian aid to Slovakia’s eastern neighbor, providing arms would only prolong the fighting.
“We don’t think that there is a military solution [to the conflict] in Ukraine,” he said, adding that Slovakia would no longer offer weapons, as “we slowly have nothing to give, and we have to take care of our own security.”
While Bratislava previously supplied arms and munitions to Ukrainian forces, newly elected Prime Minister Robert Fico has vowed to halt all shipments, stating he would not send “a single round” while urging the EU to transform itself from “an arms supplier to a peacemaker.”
In line with the new stance, the freshly appointed foreign minister went on to say that it is “necessary to initiate peace initiatives at the EU level,” suggesting Slovakia would seek to restart negotiations between Kiev and Moscow. The two sides met for several rounds of talks early on in the conflict, but the discussions soon broke down and have not resumed.
Blanar added that the government would also support peace proposals from other nations, including from Ukraine itself, or suggestions previously floated by China and Brazil.
Fico, who took office late last month, has argued that the conflict in Ukraine was ultimately caused by the attacks of “Ukrainian fascists on the civilian population of Russian nationality,” referring to Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the Donbass region launched in 2014. He has vowed to oppose any new sanctions on Moscow if they risked harming his country’s interests, declaring that “Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine.”
After launching a major counter offensive in June, Ukrainian forces have struggled to break through heavy Russian defenses, burning through munitions and manpower in the process. While Kiev has relied on foreign military aid throughout the conflict, willingness to supply weapons appears to have waned in some Western capitals, with US and some European lawmakers increasingly reluctant to approve expensive arms packages.
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