The United States is being accused by Russia of going to extreme lengths to ensure that the current government in Slovakia remains in power. According to Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the US is willing to resort to tactics such as blackmail and bribery to secure a victory for the incumbent government in the upcoming parliamentary election.
In a press release issued by the SVR, director Sergey Naryshkin claimed that the US has been increasingly meddling in Slovakia’s internal affairs as the country approaches the election this weekend. The opposition in Slovakia has made it clear that it would not blindly follow the US lead if elected, and the SVR believes they have a good chance of winning the vote.
To prevent this from happening, the SVR alleges that the US State Department has instructed its European allies to engage in targeted work with local political and business circles. The Russian intelligence agency further claims that Washington has authorized the use of tactics such as blackmail, threats, and bribery.
The SVR also asserts that the US has already instructed the leader of the Progressive Slovakia party, Michal Simecka, who also serves as the European Parliament vice-president, to form a cabinet loyal to Washington if his party wins the election. This indicates that the upcoming election in Slovakia may not be a democratic expression of the will of the people and is being influenced by external forces, according to the SVR.
In June, Politico reported that an anonymous European Commission official expressed concerns that a victory for former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s party, Direction – Slovak Social Democracy, would have negative consequences for the EU’s stance on Russia sanctions and defense aid for Ukraine. Slovakia, as a member of NATO, has been providing military support to Ukraine, but Fico has indicated that he would terminate this aid if he returns to power. He has also questioned the necessity of economic measures against Russia.
A recent poll commissioned by Slovakia’s TV JOJ 24 broadcaster showed that the Progressive Slovakia party and the Direction – Slovak Social Democracy party are neck and neck in terms of support, with 18% and 17.7% respectively.
The allegations made by the SVR highlight the escalating tensions between Russia and the US, as well as the growing influence of foreign powers in domestic politics. It remains to be seen how these allegations will impact the outcome of the election in Slovakia and the country’s relationship with the US and Russia moving forward.