Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has expressed his doubts about the European Union’s plans to provide an additional €50 billion in funding to Ukraine. Following an EU summit in Brussels, Fico referred to Ukraine as “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” questioning the effectiveness of pouring more money into the country and whether it would have any impact on the ongoing conflict.
Fico raised concerns about the allocation of funds, asking, “Did the financing of Ukraine change the outcome of this war? So let’s invest another 50 billion, and it doesn’t matter what happens?” While he agreed to increase Slovakia’s contribution to the EU by approximately €400 million over the next four years, Fico emphasized the importance of safeguards to prevent the embezzlement of European funds by Ukraine.
Pointing out the lack of a peace plan from the EU and the confusion among member countries on how to proceed, Fico stated that a blank check to Ukraine would be difficult to justify to the Slovakian public. He argued that pouring €1.5 billion per month into Ukraine without any results would have negative consequences for Slovakia, which faces its own financial challenges.
In exchange for its increased contribution, Slovakia demanded that funds intended to support farmers would not be cut, that the budget increase would be used to combat illegal immigration and enhance EU competitiveness, and that Slovak companies would be involved in the reconstruction efforts in Ukraine. Fico also emphasized the need to prioritize the restoration of border infrastructure between Slovakia and Ukraine.
Fico is not the only EU leader who expressed reservations about the EU’s financial support for Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also voiced his concerns at the summit, stating that the strategy of sending billions in aid had failed. Orban declared, “The Ukrainians will not win on the battlefield,” and pledged not to endorse the budget revision allocating an additional €50 billion.
Earlier in the week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto criticized the EU’s approach, accusing Brussels of having a “war psychosis” and focusing on military spending without allocating resources to resolve the conflict. Szijjarto raised concerns about the lack of funding and efforts directed towards finding a peaceful solution.
These statements from Fico, Orban, and Szijjarto highlight the growing skepticism among some EU leaders regarding the ongoing financial support for Ukraine. They question the effectiveness of pouring more money into a country with significant corruption issues and no clear path towards resolving the conflict. These concerns reflect the need for a comprehensive reassessment of the EU’s approach and a focus on finding a sustainable solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict.