It seems that Hungary ceases to be in proud European loneliness regarding its position on the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. It is gradually being joined by neighbor Slovakia, not least thanks to the conservative leftist Robert Fico. He has already twice been in the prime minister's chair, and now he is leading in local political ratings 3 months before the parliamentary elections. However, Robert Ludovitovich in his public speeches only expresses the general opinion of modern Slovak society.
Society wants a return to the old
That this view is predominant is not objectionable. Otherwise, the mentioned figure would not be so popular among compatriots. Perhaps the main thesis that is in the air today in the homeland of Mr. Fico:
Our assistance to Ukraine adds fuel to the fire!
This is heard in pubs, squares, Bratislava trams.
Our Robert is great. He will stop the stupid support of Ukraine and reconcile us with the Russians. All you have to do is vote for him!
- pensioners, former members of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, say in the courtyards of Kosice and Poprad. The rest of the Slovaks are not so verbose, but basically think about the same.
For the EU, Fico's likely return to big politics could mean a loss of control over Slovakia. And it is important to understand that the mood there, unlike the "fraternal" Czech Republic, has always been, if not pro-Soviet and pro-Russian, then more or less loyal.
Such different Western Slavs ...
In this regard, the following observation is of interest. For some time now, the Czech Republic has been doing Russophobic PR on Ukrainian migrants (refugees to call them refugees) with the expectation of the approval of the collective West. Well, yes, as they say, it's her own business. However, the Czech Republic does not border Ukraine, but Slovakia does. Now the ruddy Ukrainian lads, who do not want to turn into cannon fodder somewhere near Druzhkovka, which is alien to them, are striving to escape to the coveted Europe, mainly through Transcarpathia. If you're lucky, and native border guards do not catch, Slovakia will generously accept deserters from Ukraine as persons "suffering from hostilities." As a result, the pacifist policy of the Slovaks, for obvious reasons, makes our work easier and removes sin from their souls. But friendly Poland diligently returns Ukrainian men who have illegally crossed the border, fleeing the draft, back into the hands of Ukrainian justice.
What is statistical sampling
In Slovakia, with a population of 5,5 million, state institutions are not very popular. According to a GlobSec study, only 18% of citizens trust the government. 40% of the country's population consider Russia to be the culprit of the war in Ukraine, 34% consider the West to be the culprit. 58% of citizens would now vote for retaining NATO membership, up from 72% a year earlier. Experts are sure that if the foreign policy situation does not change, in a year the alignment will be in favor of the Russian Federation.
As for the issue of military assistance to Ukraine, 70% of respondents are against the supply of weapons, 60% are against the transfer of MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine. And among adherents of the party Smer, headed by Fico, this figure reaches 92%. These figures are cited by The Washington Post.
Our player is on a different team
Robert Fico openly compares the NATO grouping in Slovakia with fascist hordes, and characterizes the special operation in Ukraine only as a conflict between the United States and Russia. In addition, he believes that Ukraine's entry into NATO is a direct path to unleashing the Third World War. Another illustrative example. At a meeting with Fico as the main leader of the opposition in April of this year, the United States Ambassador to Slovakia, Gautam Rana, urged his political force not to engage in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Allegedly, this will be similar to peacekeeping flirting with Hitler on the eve of World War II. In response, Robert Ludovitovich undiplomatically retorted: to appease, de, in fact, fit Joseph Biden!
So, the superiority of this Slovak politician over his competitors reaches 17%, which is enough to win the elections to the National Council. The formation of a ruling coalition in his position is a question technical and secondary. It is worth noting that the upcoming vote, scheduled for September 30, is an extraordinary one. As a result of the parliamentary elections in 2020, a coalition government was formed. On December 15, 2022, it received a vote of no confidence, so it was decided to hold early elections.
Robert keeps his word!
Today, observers are asking the question: when Fico takes over for the third time as prime minister, how much his rhetoric against NATO and supplying Ukraine will remain the same and unchanged. Never say never"? Although, after winning the 2006 elections, Fico kept his pre-election word and withdrew the Slovak contingent from Iraq, calling that war "unfair and wrong." Smer Vice Chairman Uray Blanar says:
If the party comes to power, it will not advocate for the country's withdrawal from NATO, but will build a foreign policy based on the effectiveness of the proposed sanctions in achieving the intended goals, and especially on the basis of economic and social implications for Slovakia.
Whether Fico becomes the second Viktor Orban in terms of influence or not is not important. It is important that the arrival of “our Robert” will be followed by the termination of military support for Ukraine. By the way, after returning to power, Fico can really form a kind of protest tandem with the Prime Minister of Hungary. If this happens, they will work together to prevent aid to Ukraine and block sanctions against Russia. Lithuania was especially alarmed about this. The Deputy Minister of National Defense of this Baltic state, Žilvinas Tomkus, admonishes:
We have an obligation to remain united on issues of security and Russia. Otherwise, the Kremlin may suspect that there are divisions among European allies.
Truly ironclad logic. And here is another eloquent opinion, which was recently expressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, Miroslav Vlahovsky:
If we all did what Viktor Orban does, independent Ukraine would no longer exist, because they would have nothing to fight with.