The leftist-populist celebration of former Prime Minister Robert Fico has received the parliamentary elections in Slovakia, working on a marketing campaign with two clear messages: no extra navy help to Ukraine and no extra sanctions towards Russia.
Fico’s Smer-SD celebration scored practically 23 p.c of the vote, incomes the president’s nod on Sunday to start out talks to interchange a technocrat authorities that has been backing Kyiv towards Russia’s invasion.
The events prone to be part of the brand new coalition are the left-wing Hlas (Voice) celebration – which received 14.7 p.c of the votes – and the ultranationalist Slovak Nationwide Celebration, a transparent pro-Russian group, that acquired 5.6 p.c.
A liberal, pro-West newcomer, the Progressive Slovakia celebration was a distant second with 18 p.c of the votes. Its chief Michal Simecka, who’s the deputy president of the European Parliament, stated his celebration revered the outcome.
“Nevertheless it’s dangerous information for Slovakia,” he stated. “And it will be even worse if Robert Fico manages to create a authorities.”
No extra support to Ukraine?
Slovakia is a member of the NATO navy alliance, which is backing Ukraine towards Russian President Vladimir Putin, however lots of its persons are sympathetic to Moscow’s line that the West desires to annihilate it.
Fico, 59, stated Slovakia has larger issues than the Ukraine situation, together with power costs and residing prices, however his celebration would do every part doable to start out peace talks. Throughout his marketing campaign, Fico pledged to stop supporting neighbouring Ukraine in its battle towards Russia.
“We’re not altering that we’re ready to assist Ukraine in a humanitarian method,” stated Fico, whom analysts take into account to be impressed by Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has continuously clashed with the EU.
“We’re ready to assist with the reconstruction of the state however you understand our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he added at a information convention.
Prior to now, Fico had opposed Ukraine’s bid to affix NATO, saying it will “imply the start of World Battle III”.
“The battle in Ukraine didn’t begin a 12 months in the past, it began in 2014 when Ukrainian Nazis and fascists began murdering Russian residents within the Donbas and Luhansk,” he had stated in August.
“We have to inform the entire world: Freedom got here from the East, battle at all times comes from the West.”
Thus far, Slovakia – a rustic 5.5 million folks created in 1993 following the breakup of Czechoslovakia – was a staunch supporter of Ukraine.
For the reason that begin of the battle in February final 12 months, Bratislava opened its borders to the fleeing refugees and was a key logistical hub in NATO’s effort to move navy help to Ukraine.
Slovakia – ranked among the many prime 5 European donors to Kyiv when it comes to its gross home product – donated greater than half its MiG fighter jets and dozens of infantry autos. It was the primary EU nation to help Kyiv with an antiaircraft missile system, the S-300.
“This [military support] involves an finish with the results of the elections,” stated Wojciech Przybylski, political analyst and head of Visegrad Perception suppose tank.
“And there can be questions from Ukraine and its Western allies on how a lot intelligence might be shared with Slovakia with out the danger of leaks and of jeopardising transportation routes,” Przybylski stated.
Such change in Slovakia’s coverage, Przybylski added, could have a political influence by breaching what has been thus far a united entrance amongst European nations in supporting Kyiv.
An Orbanisation of Slovakia?
Fico’s critics fear his return to energy may lead Slovakia to desert course in different methods as effectively, mostly on the lines of Hungary’s Orban, who has additionally been an outlier on Ukraine and infrequently spars with the EU over the battle.
Orban congratulated Fico on Sunday with a submit on X social media platform saying: “Guess who’s again!”
“All the time good to work along with a patriot,” he added.
Hungary additionally has – uniquely amongst EU nations – maintained shut relations with Moscow and argued towards supplying arms to Ukraine or offering it with financial support.
Fico, who campaigned strongly towards immigration within the run-up to Saturday’s election and criticised a caretaker authorities for not doing extra, stated re-starting border controls with Hungary would signify a prime precedence.
“One of many first choices of the federal government have to be an order renewing border controls with Hungary,” Fico informed a information convention. “It won’t be a fairly image,” he stated, including pressure could be wanted on the 655km (407 miles) border.
Przybylski stated Fico will seemingly push anti-immigration insurance policies with a purpose to enchantment to the working class who understand migrants as a workforce competitors.