Slovakia's new government, led by populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, wins a confidence vote in Parliament.
Why it matters
The victory of Slovakia's new government, which opposes EU sanctions on Russia and wants to block Ukraine from joining NATO, could strain unity in the European Union and NATO. It marks a potential shift in Slovakia's foreign policy and raises concerns about the country's pro-Western course.
What the papers say
AP News says that Fico's victory may mark a dramatic turnaround in the country's foreign policy and could strain unity in the European Union and NATO. The Independent highlights concerns that Fico's return to power could lead Slovakia to abandon its pro-Western course, following the example of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Al Jazeera reports that Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán does not support moving forward on negotiations for Ukraine's future membership in the European Union. Politico mentions that Orbán believes Ukraine is not ready for membership talks with the EU and that Ukraine's membership talks cannot be linked to Hungary's frozen EU funds. France 24 discusses Georgian President Zourabichvili's criticism of her government's pro-Russian leanings and its sabotage of the country's EU aspirations, despite recent support for EU and NATO membership among ordinary Georgians. The sources provide contrasting opinions on Slovakia's new government and its potential impact on the EU and NATO.
How we got here
Slovakia's new government, led by populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, won a confidence vote in Parliament. Fico, who ended the country's military aid for Ukraine, returned to power after his scandal-tainted leftist Smer party won the parliamentary election. The victory marks a potential shift in Slovakia's foreign policy and raises concerns about the country's pro-Western course. Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán has also expressed opposition to Ukraine's membership talks with the EU.
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Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, a
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east.
Viktor Mihály Orbán is a Hungarian politician who has been Prime Minister of Hungary since 2010; he was also Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002.
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Robert Fico is a Slovak politician who served as Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018. He has been the first leader of the Direction – Social Democracy party since 1999.
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the southwest, and Czech Republic to the northwest.