The Slovakian Elections 2023: Once more, a pro-Western government in Europe has fallen. Slovakia has made its voice heard, ushering in the return of former Prime Minister Robert Fico. NATO’s concerns in Eastern Europe are beginning to materialize.
The Slovakian Parliamentarian elections have come to an end and already, the ‘outgoing’ pro-western government of Slovakia, in response to the election outcome, has accused Russia of meddling.
Slovakia’s foreign ministry, in a formal statement, asserted that the Russian disinformation was peddled heavily by the Kremlin during election times and It is unacceptable interference by the Russian Federation.
In retaliation, Russian intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin labeled the Progressive Slovakia Party the PS as “the US proxies” and asserted that Washington had escalated its interference in Slovakia’s domestic political situation, yet they have failed.
In the recent Slovakian elections, the unexpected resurgence of Robert Fico and his party Smer has reshaped the political landscape, leading to significant implications for the West’s influence in the region.
The 2023 Slovakian Elections: Robert Fico Leads the Charge
Fico’s Smer party secured a substantial vote share of 22.95%, translating to 42 seats in the parliament, making it the dominant force in the new political scenario. This victory marks a departure from the West’s anticipated stronghold near Russia, with Fico’s return indicating a shift in the political winds.
Whereas, the west backed Michal Šimečka’s PS and Peter Pellegrini’s Hlas also garnered notable support, with 17.96% and 14.7% of the votes respectively, securing 32 and 27 seats each. However, these numbers pale in comparison to Smer’s decisive win.
Other parties, including Igor Matovič’s OĽaNO and Friends, Milan Majerský’s KDH, Richard Sulík’s SASKA, and Andrej Danko’s SNS, secured a collective 31.67% of the votes, highlighting a fragmented political landscape.
The return of Fico, a seasoned political figure, indicates a potential shift in Slovakia’s domestic and foreign policies. His resounding victory signifies a public sentiment that resonates with his leadership, possibly driven by the narrative that the previous administration had a specific preference for Western ideals.
Fico’s Return: Kremlin Returns in Bratislava
Robert Fico’s return to Slovakian politics simply means a return of the pro-Kremlin government in Bratislava, particularly regarding his stance on Ukraine and NATO. Fico, the leader of the Smer-SD party, has historically maintained friendly relations with Russia, displaying supportive rhetoric and advocating for energy cooperation, including gas deals.
His criticism of NATO activities in Eastern Europe, along with reservations about the alliance’s expansion and military exercises like the conflict in Ukraine, underscores his stance. Even after his recent electoral victory, Fico reiterated that the Ukraine war is not his priority.
He campaigned on a promise to cease military aid to Ukraine and has affirmed that his position remains unchanged. While he expressed willingness for humanitarian assistance and state reconstruction, Fico remains reluctant to arm Ukraine, thereby marking a shift in its commitment to NATO allies.
Fico’s return and Smer’s victory have deeply concerned the EU and Western powers. The European Parliament has already expressed grave apprehension, stating this outcome is detrimental for Slovakia, with even graver consequences if Fico successfully forms a government.
Despite the United States’ attempt to influence the elections by supporting opposition parties financially, NATO’s goals were not achieved.
This shift marks a clear pro-Russia stance for Slovakia, alarming Western nations, including the US. Fico’s resurgence, akin to Viktor Orban’s influence, poses a significant challenge for the West. This development suggests potential future troubles for Ukraine, as Fico is not the man, West anticipated to rise up again.