Slovak Prime Minister: There is no war in Kiev

The newly-appointed Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, raised eyebrows on Tuesday by asserting that there is no war in Kiev, just a day before his scheduled meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. In a surprising statement, Fico told reporters in eastern Slovakia, “You seriously believe that there is a war going on in Kiev? You’re joking, please, I hope you’re not serious. Go there and you will find that there is a normal life in the city, an absolutely normal life.” This statement came mere hours after missiles had struck the Ukrainian capital, resulting in 20 casualties, including a 13-year-old boy. Despite official data and numerous air raid alarms sounding 967 times in Kyiv since the war’s onset, Fico downplayed the conflict, deeming it localized and seemingly dismissing the severity of the situation.

Fico, in office since October, has signaled a shift in Slovakia’s foreign policy, intending to halt military aid to the war-torn country, a decision he believes will prevent the prolongation of the conflict. Nevertheless, he is set to meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal for the first time on Wednesday in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhorod, situated on the border of the two nations. This move raises questions about Fico’s stance on the crisis and the potential implications for diplomatic relations in the region.

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