Slovakians have spoken: the pro-EU Prime Minister is out, and a Russia-friendly government is in. In a surprising turn of events, the people of Slovakia have ousted their pro-European Union Prime Minister, Eduard Heger, in favor of a government that aligns more closely with Russia. After months of protests against Heger’s policies, the resignation of the West-backed leader is seen as a victory for the pro-Russian sentiments deeply rooted within the country.
Slovakia, located in Southeastern Europe and bordering Ukraine, has long had a complicated relationship with Russia. While the government has maintained a pro-EU stance, the majority of its citizens have shown a strong affinity towards Russia. A 2021 study conducted by Globsec revealed that 42% of Slovaks considered Russia a key partner, with 78% even referring to Russians as their “Slavic brothers.”
The conflicting views between the Slovakian government and its people have become increasingly apparent during the ongoing Ukraine conflict. While the government offered long-range air defense systems and armaments to Ukraine, surveys indicated that more than half of the population would welcome a military victory of Russia over Ukraine. This stark contrast highlights the divide between the government’s policies and the desires of the Slovakian people.
Read More: Is Putin behind the recent Slovakian chaos?
The recent protests against the pro-EU government were fueled by various factors, including rising energy prices. Thousands took to the streets in Slovakia’s capital to voice their discontent with the government led by Heger. The prime minister himself acknowledged the risk of “total collapse” to the country’s economy due to escalating electricity bills. Such economic hardships only exacerbated public frustration and intensified calls for change in the pro-Russia country.
Due to his pro-EU approach, Heger even tried to sanction Russia alongside his Czech counterpart. However, the deteriorating situation prompted Heger to warn the EU that Slovakia might stop complying with EU directives if Brussels failed to provide assistance. This plea for support underscored the dire state of the country and further fueled anti-EU sentiment.
Coming to the present, the implications of Heger’s resignation are significant. With the departure of the West backed prime minister, the stage is set for the potential return of the pro-Russian Smer-SD party led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Read More: Slovakia wants to sanction Russia. That’s it. That’s the news
Moreover, the change in government may also lead to the cessation of arms supplies to Ukraine. Slovakia had been providing Ukraine with armaments, including howitzers, in support of its fight against Russian aggression. However, with a Russia-friendly government potentially taking power, the dynamics of Slovakian-Ukrainian relations are likely to shift.
For the pro-Russian population of Slovakia, the resignation of Prime Minister Eduard Heger is undoubtedly good news.
As Slovakia embarks on a new political path, the impact of this transition will be closely watched. The country’s stance towards the EU, Russia, and Ukraine will be key indicators of its future trajectory. For now, the pro-Russian sentiments among the Slovakian people have made a resounding statement, heralding a potential shift towards a more Russia-friendly government in the near future.
Leave a Reply