Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Saturday said the only way to end Russia’s war against Ukraine is for Kyiv to give up some of its territory to the invaders, as he reiterated his opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.
“There has to be some kind of compromise,” Fico told public broadcaster RTVS on Saturday, according to media reports. “What do they expect, that the Russians will leave Crimea, Donbas and Luhansk? That’s unrealistic,” he said.
The pro-Russia prime minister took power in December after his leftist-populist Smer party won September’s election with promises to stop sending weapons to Ukraine, to block Kyiv’s potential NATO membership and to oppose sanctions on Russia.
Fico reiterated his opposition to Ukraine’s bid to join NATO in Saturday’s interview, which came ahead of a planned meeting of the Slovak leader with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Wednesday.
“I will tell him that I am against the membership of Ukraine in NATO and that I will veto it,” Fico said, referring to Shmyhal. “It would merely be a basis for World War III, nothing else,” Fico added, according to the reports.
“Ukraine is not an independent and sovereign country,” Fico charged. Ukraine “is under the total influence and control of the United States,” he said.
“I will confirm that he will not receive any weapons” from the Slovak government, Fico said, accusing Ukraine of being “one of the most corrupt nations in the world.”
Fico last week expressed support for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in blocking a €50 billion EU aid package for Ukraine in December. “I will never agree that a country should be punished for fighting for its sovereignty. I will never agree with such an attack on Hungary,” Fico said on Tuesday during a joint press conference with Orbán in Budapest.
Slovakia’s Culture Ministry also announced it will resume cooperation with Russia and Belarus, after it was suspended in March 2022 following Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine.