Slovakia forms coalition government with pro-Russian party

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova approved a new three-party coalition government Wednesday led by Robert Fico.

Fico’s leftist Smer party won elections in September promising to end military aid to Ukraine and immigration and defend Slovakian sovereignty.

It marked the third time he took over as prime minister.

”We will be a constructive government. You will see a sovereign Slovak foreign policy,” Fico said at the ceremony.

Fico is the chairman of the Smer party, which is part of the three-party coalition government that includes the Hlas party and Slovak National Party.

He is often dubbed a ”pro-Russian populist” for criticizing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

But for most, he is just protecting the interests of Slovakia and its people.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic were the first to congratulate Fico over the victory.

Orban, Vucic and Fico share stances on many issues, including a disdain for a neoliberal agenda and the Ukrainian crisis.

Serbia refuses to join the European Union’s sanctions against Russia.

Fico also opposes Western sanctions on Moscow and wants the European Union to force peace talks.

Last week, Caputova refused to approve a new government because of Rudolf Huliak’s candidacy as the country’s next environment minister, saying his credentials did not qualify him for the job as he was once a climate change denier.

Huliak, a pro-Russian member of parliament, was replaced by Tomas Taraba, another far-right politician and former member of the neo-Nazi People’s Party Our Slovakia.

Fico was forced to resign in 2018 after huge popular protests broke out following the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancée.

He led the government between 2006 and 2010 and again from 2012 to 2018.

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