Fico continues to insist on the need to find a peaceful solution for Ukraine

Fico continues to insist on the need to find a peaceful solution for Ukraine

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico promises to support Ukraine, but continues to insist that he does not see a military solution to the "conflict" and calls for other parties to respect his position.

He stated this at a joint press conference with Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Fico, who earlier today held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmygal, reiterated the fact that on some issues, Bratislava and Kyiv have quite different positions, which was confirmed during his talks in Uzhhorod, but on many topics there is complete understanding between the parties.

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"We do not believe that this conflict can be resolved by military means," Robert Fico said, adding that he only heard from his Ukrainian counterpart of plans to continue the war, while he himself is a big supporter of peaceful initiatives. He added that he supported President Zelensky's Peace Plan, although he considers it unrealistic.

The Slovak politician complained that his country, as a neighbor of Ukraine, "perhaps sees it from a slightly different angle, sees some things differently than others", but on some issues, Slovakia's position does not find understanding at the international level.

Read also: Slovakia to support EUR 50B Ukraine Facility - Shmyhal following Fico meeting

But despite all issues, Fico assured, Slovakia seeks to help Ukraine become a democratic and prosperous nation. It will not hinder the approval of the EU financial assistance package, and also wants Ukraine to become an EU member, he assured.

"But, of course, we are talking about the fact that Ukraine must fulfill the Copenhagen criteria, it must be ready, because an unprepared country can only bring additional difficulties to the EU, not benefits," the politician added.

The prime minister categorically disagreed with criticism directed at him (voiced by German journalists) that Fico allegedly represents "Putin's fifth column." He assured that the focus of his interest as a sovereign politician is not Russia and that his position is neither pro-Ukrainian nor pro-American but rather pro-Slovak. At the same time, the prime minister admitted that some perceive his statements as "controversial", and asked to "respect other opinions."

Read also: Slovakia will send Ukraine engineering equipment for construction of defense line

The German chancellor thanked his counterpart for his willingness to support Ukraine in the future, for the help that Slovakia, as an immediate neighbor, provides to Ukraine, in particular, in accepting displaced Ukrainians. He also mentioned that the maintenance center for military equipment donated to Ukraine is based in Slovakia. Scholz also said plans to expand the maintenance and repair hub.

Fico, in turn, said he sees great potential for cooperation between Slovakia and Germany in the defense sector, boasting of multiple defense enterprises located in his country.

"There are two or three specific ideas on the table that we want to explore, specifically in the arms industry," said the head of the Slovak government.

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During the dinner, which took place after the briefing, the two heads of government discussed, in addition to issues of bilateral cooperation, topics that will be discussed at the European Council on February 1.

On the morning of January 24, the heads of Ukraine and Slovakia governments held talks in Uzhhorod.

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