The Smer-SSD party, led by former leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico, triumphed in Slovakia’s parliamentary elections, securing 24% of the votes. This win came as a surprise, as exit polls had projected the Liberal Centre Party, which took second place with approximately 17% of the vote, to come out on top.
Fico, who had previously resigned from the position of Prime Minister in the wake of the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in 2018, had vowed during his campaign to immediately cease military aid to Ukraine.
However, to form a government, Fico will need to enter into a coalition. A potential collaborator is the pro-European party, Glas, which clinched third place with 15% of the votes. Fico may choose to ally with Glas, which split from Smer in 2020, or with the conservative Slovak National Party, which garnered 5% of the vote.
“If Smer enters the government, we will not send a single round of ammunition to Ukraine,” Fico assured his supporters. This statement has been warmly received in Moscow, while causing concern in Brussels and Washington.
Until now, Slovakia had been a staunch ally of Kiev, providing ground-to-air missiles and helicopters and donating an entire fleet of decommissioned Mig-29 fighter jets.