Saturday, May 25, 2024

Robert Fico shooting: Slovakia PM’s assassination attempt ‘politically motivated’, government claims

Must read

Until the Left-wing populist’s election, Slovakia was one of Ukraine’s most vocal supporters. However, Mr Fico has railed against EU sanctions on the Kremlin and opposed sending weapons to Ukraine.

His victory was seen as a blow to pro-Western forces and a boon to leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, who has also criticised sanctions for harming the economy.

Mr Fico has refused to join a Czech-led coalition of EU states buying ammunition for Kyiv. He campaigned on a promise not to send “one more round” to Ukraine from Slovakia, where there is deep distrust of Nato.

‘Ukraine should be blamed’

Margarita Simonyan, the editor of Kremlin propaganda channel RT, said that Ukraine should be blamed for the assassination attempt.

That would suit Moscow, but there is no serious suggestion that Kyiv is responsible for an attack on the leader of a Nato and EU member state, which are two organisations Ukraine wants to join.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, condemned the attack as “appalling”.

“We sincerely hope Robert Fico recovers soon and express our solidarity with the people of Slovakia,” he said.

Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia’s president-elect and a close ally of Mr Fico, called the assassination attempt “a threat to everything that has adorned Slovak democracy so far”.

Mr Fico led the ruling Smer party in 1999 and has led it ever since. He holds the record for the longest serving prime minister in Slovak history.

Latest article