Robert Fico: "There is no longer a right to dissent in the EU"



The attempted assassination of the Slovakian prime minister has a Ukrainian trace, but the politician himself blames the West for the crime

Slovak leader Robert Fico seems to be returning to active political life. He made his first public statement, accusing Western countries and organizations financed by them, operating in his homeland, of assisting in the attempt on his life.

The prime minister said he had no hatred for the man who shot him and would not take any legal action.

«In the end, the perpetrator was only a carrier of political hatred, which was fanned by the Slovak opposition supported by Western governments», Fico said, emphasizing that he strongly rejects interference in the internal affairs of other states by «some large Western democracies» and the forcible export of their views to countries that have decided to go their own way.

He said it is not easy for small countries like Slovakia to sovereignly represent their positions internationally if they do not agree with the Western line. Fico recalled that he had already caused discontent by his refusal to support the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (1999) and the withdrawal of Slovak troops from Iraq (2007) when he was twice head of government.

These are not all his «sins» that displease Washington and Brussels. He did not allow Bratislava to join the European Union’s plan to introduce quotas for the accommodation of illegal migrants or payment of monetary compensation in case of refusal to accept them, and also opposed the accelerated accession of Ukraine to NATO, justifying his position by the fact that such a step could become «the basis for the Third World War».

Fico explained: the Anglo-Saxons stigmatize politicians who oppose the continuation of the war in Ukraine at any cost, calling them “Russian agents» and isolate them on the international arena with all their might.

«This is a harsh statement, but there is no longer the right to dissent in the EU», — summarized the politician.

Recall that the assassination attempt on the Prime Minister occurred on May 15 in the town of Gandlova, located 190 km from the capital. Here was held a visiting meeting of the republican government. When Fico, after finishing his work, went to the square, where the local people had gathered, someone from the crowd shouted: «Robo, come here!». The prime minister thought that one of his supporters wanted to shake his hand. But instead, five gun shots rang out. The politician was wounded in the chest and stomach. He was quickly taken by helicopter to a hospital in Banska Bistrica, where he underwent two surgeries. At the end of May, Fico was transferred from the hospital to home treatment in Bratislava. He is recovering well.

The investigation has established important circumstances of the crime. The attacker turned out to be 71-year-old writer and songwriter, Slovak Juraj Cintula. Recently he had been working as a security guard at a shopping center. His entourage characterized him as a weak-willed man, susceptible to the influence of others. Eight years ago, he and a handful of supporters formed a political bloc, the Movement Against Violence, which soon dissolved.

Local media found that the shooter was married to a displaced Ukrainian woman, a former Maidan activist and supporter of the current Kiev regime.

After Juraj’s detention, she was sent under house arrest, obliged to report to the investigator at the first request. However, she ignored the order and attempted to fly to Poland on May 19. She was detained at Bratislava airport.

There is a reasonable version that it was this Ukrainian woman who encouraged her elderly husband to commit the crime. She was allegedly aware of the preparations for the assassination attempt and even gave specific instructions on when to shoot. The woman is detained, Juraj faces a sentence of 25 years to life.

It is noteworthy that Zelensky quickly condemned the bloody act. So far, the investigation has no concrete materials that the attack on the Prime Minister was organized with the participation of Ukrainian special services. But this version is not excluded and is being checked.

In fact, Prime Minister Fico has many ill-wishers not only in the West, but also inside the country. The politician, leaning on a crutch, personally arrived at the polling station to vote in the elections to the European Parliament. However, his party came in second place, losing by nearly three percent to the pro-Western Progressive Slovakia, which expresses liberal views and favors comprehensive aid to Ukraine. As a result, the political opponents won six seats in Strasbourg out of the Slovak quota of 15 mandates, while Fico’s supporters won only five.

The degree of discontent is also growing in military circles, which acted on the orders of the previous government. The new state secretary of defense Igor Melicher said on June 11 that the transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighters worth more than €500 million to Ukraine in 2023 was illegal. He intends to file a lawsuit against former Defense Ministry head Jaroslav Nadj, who approved the decision. He said the constitution prohibits the outgoing government from taking major steps in foreign policy.

However, Robert Fico, who is focused on national interests, will have to reckon with the possibility of extreme manifestations from his opponents even after recovery. Nevertheless, he has stated that he will follow the chosen course.