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Slovakian Election: Implications for Europe, Ukraine, and the Balance of Power

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Slovakians headed to the polls on September 30 to elect a new parliament, and the outcome of this election has far-reaching implications beyond the borders of the country.[0] The result could not only have a significant impact on the domestic affairs of Slovakia but also on the balance of power in Europe and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who has been leading in the polls, has taken a stance that could reshape Slovakia's approach to Ukraine and create divisions within NATO and the European Union. Fico has been critical of the West's support for Ukraine and has expressed sympathy towards Russia.[1] He has vowed to halt military aid to Ukraine, block Ukraine's NATO ambitions, and even end sanctions against Russia.[2]

If Fico wins the election, he could align himself with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who shares a similar anti-EU sentiment.[3] Together, they could create obstacles for Brussels and strengthen a bloc of EU troublemakers, especially if Poland's governing Law and Justice party also wins in the upcoming Polish parliamentary elections.[4] This alliance could undermine the EU's ability to implement new sanctions against Russia, as it requires unanimous support from all member states.

The potential return of Fico to power has raised concerns among Western journalists and EU bureaucrats. Many fear that Slovakia could become Russia's newest ally and that faith in liberal democracy could be eroded in the heart of Europe.[5] Fico's affinity for the Kremlin and his anti-US message have sparked worries about Slovakia's geopolitical course and its support for Ukraine.

Slovakia has been one of Ukraine's staunchest allies, providing political, economic, and military aid since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.[6] It has also been among the few European countries pushing for tough EU sanctions against Russia.[4] However, Fico's election could change Slovakia's stance and weaken Ukraine's support among its allies.

The election in Slovakia has been closely watched by Western officials due to the country's proximity to Ukraine and its initial support for Ukrainian refugees when Russia invaded Ukraine.[7] Slovakia's potential shift in policy could have serious consequences for the region, as it is a member of both NATO and the EU. It could also undermine EU unity and the collective response to the war in Ukraine.[8]

The election results are still uncertain, with multiple parties potentially reaching the 5% threshold needed to enter parliament.[2] This could lead to complex coalition negotiations and further uncertainty.[9] The moderate-left Hlas party, led by Peter Pellegrini, is seen as a potential kingmaker in these negotiations.[10]

Overall, the outcome of the Slovakian election has significant implications for the region and beyond. It could reshape Slovakia's approach to Ukraine, create divisions within NATO and the EU, and potentially weaken support for Ukraine among its allies. The election results will have far-reaching consequences for Europe's balance of power and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

0. “Russia may be about to get a new friendly leader in Europe” The Japan Times, 25 Sep. 2023, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/09/25/world/politics/slovakia-election-pro-russia/

1. “European Elections Open Window of Opportunity for Putin” Newsweek, 29 Sep. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/european-elections-open-window-opportunity-putin-slovakia-poland-ukraine-germany-eu-1830550

2. “Slovakia elections: Liberals win against pro-Moscow party – exit polls” BBC, 30 Sep. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66972984

3. “We won't send another bullet to Kyiv, says Slovakia's PM frontrunner” The Telegraph, 29 Sep. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/09/29/we-wont-send-another-bullet-to-kyiv-says-slovakias-fico

4. “With Kremlin apologist leading the polls, Slovakia vote threatens country's support for Ukraine | News Channel 3-12” KEYT, 30 Sep. 2023, https://keyt.com/news/national-world/cnn-world/2023/09/30/with-kremlin-apologist-leading-the-polls-slovakia-vote-threatens-countrys-support-for-ukraine/

5. “Globalists' Contempt for Slovakia's Voters The European Conservative” The European Conservative, 26 Sep. 2023, https://europeanconservative.com/articles/essay/globalists-contempt-for-slovakias-voters/

6. “Slovakia may be about to elect a government which plans to halt aid to Kyiv” The Conversation, 28 Sep. 2023, https://theconversation.com/slovakia-may-be-about-to-elect-a-government-which-plans-to-halt-aid-to-kyiv-214452

7. “Slovakia Election Outcome Threatens EU Support Of Ukraine” tippinsights, 29 Sep. 2023, https://tippinsights.com/slovakia-election-outcome-threatens-eu-support-of-ukraine/

8. “Putin ‘on brink of earning new ally in EU' as anti-sanction leader tipped for election win” Express, 30 Sep. 2023, https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1817763/slovakia-elections-results-robert-fico-putin-russia-sanctions-ukraine-war

9. “A populist leader, sympathetic to Putin's Russia, could be about to win elections in Slovakia” CNBC, 29 Sep. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/29/robert-fico-slovakias-election-could-further-fracture-ukraine-support-.html

10. “LIVE: Slovakia parliamentary election 2023” The Slovak Spectator, 29 Sep. 2023, https://spectator.sme.sk/c/23222468/slovakia-election-parliament.html

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