The newly-appointed Defense Minister of Slovakia, Robert Kalinak, has announced that the country will not be supplying weapons to Ukraine. Kalinak stated that Slovakia is seeking to review the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the United States to ensure that it remains “mutually beneficial.” As a result, they will halt arms shipments to Ukraine.
In a post on his Facebook page, Kalinak wrote, “When things ain’t working out, you need to fix it,” following a meeting with US Ambassador Gautam Rana. He mentioned that mutual interests and current security challenges were discussed during the meeting. According to Kalinak, Slovakia’s foreign and defense policy has experienced failure after failure, and the current agreement is “ill-formulated.” He explained that the agreement puts Slovakia under the obligation to give up much-needed military equipment and ammunition.
Kalinak emphasized that Slovakia greatly values cooperation with its Western partners. However, the newly elected leadership will not follow in the footsteps of the previous “servile government” and will act in the interest of its own people. During the meeting with the US Ambassador, Kalinak conveyed the position of the pro-Slovak Government, stating that they will not send new shipments from Slovak ammunition depots to Ukraine, and the defense agreement will have to be modified.
The decision to suspend military aid to Ukraine comes after the Slovak Social Democracy party secured victory in parliamentary elections in September. Prime Minister Robert Fico made a commitment that not “a single round [of ammunition] will be sent to Ukraine.”
Furthermore, Slovakia has questioned the EU’s provision of funding to Kiev. Fico expressed concerns over the proposed tranche of €50 billion and rejected it. He stated that Slovakia will only agree to an increased contribution to the EU if it is promised that the funds will not be “embezzled” by Kiev.
This decision by Slovakia reflects the new government’s intention to prioritize the interests and well-being of its own people. The review of the Defence Cooperation Agreement with the United States aims to ensure that Slovakia’s collaboration with its Western partners remains mutually beneficial.