Some reasonable voices from the Eastern Europe on Ukrainian crises

12:11 16.01.2024 •

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico (photo) has slammed “stupid liberal demagogues” who still support military aid to Kyiv.

Funding and arming Ukraine is a “futile waste of human resources and money” that will serve only to fill Ukrainian cemeteries with “thousands of dead soldiers,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico wrote last week. Fico’s article was a rebuttal to his country’s president, who has urged him to send weapons to Kyiv.

Following his party’s electoral victory in September, Fico immediately cut off Slovakia’s military aid to Ukraine and vowed to block Kiev’s accession to NATO. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, however, has called for Ukraine to be given “the means needed to defend itself,” while pro-Western pundits in Slovakia have accused Fico of cozying up to the Kremlin.

“I will no longer be subject to stupid liberal and progressive demagoguery,” Fico wrote in Slovakia’s Pravda newspaper. “It is literally shocking to see how the West has repeatedly made mistakes in assessing the situation in Russia.”

Despite pumping Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and sanctioning Moscow’s economy, “Russia completely controls the occupied territories militarily, Ukraine is not capable of any meaningful military counter-offensive, [and] it has become completely dependent on financial aid from the West with unforeseeable consequences for Ukrainians in the years to come,” he explained.

“The position of the Ukrainian president is shaken, while the Russian president increases and strengthens his political support,” Fico continued, pointing out that “neither the Russian economy nor the Russian currency collapsed, [and] anti-Russian sanctions have increased the internal self-sufficiency of this huge country.”

Should the West continue along the path desired by Caputova, “in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.”

Fico’s Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) faction currently leads a three-party coalition government, while Caputova is the co-founder of the Progressive Slovakia party. Caputova’s role as president is largely ceremonial, and Fico claimed in his op-ed that she is “impatiently waiting” for the end of her term this year so that she can re-enter parliamentary politics.

Fico has labeled Caputova an “American agent” on several occasions. After consulting the American Embassy in Bratislava last summer, Caputova sued Fico over the remarks, Slovakia’s SITA news agency reported.

Former Polish PM admits Ukraine’s strategy failed. The conflict is “going in the wrong direction,” Mateusz Morawiecki (photo) told the UK’s Express newspaper.

Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive was “not successful” and Russia has the upper hand strategically, former Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki admitted, in an interview with Britain’s Express newspaper.

The conflict in Ukraine is “not going in the right direction,” Morawiecki told the outlet, outlining his “huge concern” with a situation in which Moscow had apparently outflanked its opponents.

Russia has “huge resources,” he explained, noting the country’s military production capabilities significantly outweighed the EU’s own. “They have this strategic depth, and they have patience in international politics,” he added, also dismissing the country’s elections scheduled for March as mere “theater” unlikely to change the balance of power in Moscow.

Morawiecki also argued, however, that Ukraine’s failure had a silver lining for NATO in that it had brought Finland and Sweden into the alliance and was “awakening” countries like Denmark and Romania. The Scandinavian countries, he said, were among the most vocal in calling attention to the threat allegedly posed by Russia.

“Not only the security of the eastern flank of NATO, but also for the security of the United Kingdom, security of Germany, Denmark and the Scandinavians, they do understand it very, very well,” he said.

While international attention has largely shifted away from the Ukraine conflict to Israel’s war with Gaza as the latter threatens to erupt into a broader conflict, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak traveled to Kiev on Friday to bestow his government’s largest gift yet on the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, announcing £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) to be paid out over the coming financial year and starting in April, and a bilateral agreement that includes security guarantees for Ukraine “in the event that it is ever attacked by Russia again.”

Zelensky has been vocal about his concern over flagging international support for Kiev’s fight, after unprecedented amounts of foreign aid from the UK, US, and EU failed to appreciably move the needle against Russia. Legislative gridlock has stalled planned aid packages in the US even as the Biden administration insists on an urgency to it, with his political opposition countering that accountability for funds spent must be a requirement for any future aid.


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