Slovak PM says Ukraine is under US control

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico gives a press conference with his Hungarian counterpart (not in picture) at Carmelita monastery, the Hungarian Prime Minister's office in Budapest, on January 16, 2024 after their official talks. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP)

Bratislava, Slovakia| Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on Saturday said neighbouring Ukraine was not a sovereign nation but was under the absolute control of the United States.

The populist politician, who is against military aid to the war-torn country and opposes sanctions against Russia, also reiterated his opposition to Ukraine's bid to join NATO.

"Ukraine is not an independent and sovereign country," Fico told public broadcaster RTVS. "Ukraine is under the total influence and control of the United States."

Slovakia is a member of both NATO and the European Union.

Fico is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal on Wednesday in the city of Uzhhorod, western Ukraine, on the border with Slovakia.

"I will tell him that I am against the membership of Ukraine in NATO and that I will veto it," Fico said.

"It would merely be a basis for World War 3, nothing else," he added.

"I will confirm that he will not receive any weapons as far as the Slovak army and state supplies are concerned," he added.

Fico also accused Ukraine of being "one of the most corrupt nations in the world", adding: "God only knows how much of the aid that is sent to you disappears somewhere."

He argued there was no military solution to the current conflict, which began nearly two years ago when Russia invaded. Ukraine, he said, would have to give up some of its territory.

"There has to be some kind of compromise, which will be very painful for both sides," he added. "And what are they waiting for? That the Russians will leave...? It's unrealistic."

Slovakia is one of the most pro-Russian countries in the European Union, according to a Bratislava-based Globsec think tank report published in 2023.

Despite Fico's criticism of Ukraine however, it was only Hungary that vetoed the 50 billion euros of aid that other European Union members had voted to give Kyiv last December.

© Agence France-Presse

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