Slovakian PM promises to block Ukraine’s NATO bid over war risks

Kiev’s accession will risk a global war, Slovakia’s prime minister has warned

The risks of a global war will only increase if Ukraine joins NATO, said Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, on Tuesday, promising to block Kiev’s accession.
Accepting new countries into the US-led military alliance requires unanimous consent from all of its 32 current members. If Ukraine gets invited to join NATO, the parliament of Slovakia will not ratify the accession treaty, Fico said.
“Slovakia needs a neutral Ukraine. Our interests will be threatened if it becomes a NATO member state because that is the basis of a large world conflict,” the prime minister explained, as quoted by the news website
Fico stressed that he will not bow down to any outside pressure. “Our partners abroad have been taught that whatever they ask and request from Slovakia, they will automatically get it. But we are a sovereign and self-confident country,” he said.
Slovakia, together with neighboring Hungary, has warned that the EU should not be dragged into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and has insisted on a diplomatic resolution. After becoming prime minister in October 2023, Fico reversed the previous government’s decision to send weapons to Kiev. He also fiercely opposes sending NATO troops to Ukraine.

Ukraine formally applied to join NATO in September 2022. Although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this month that Ukraine “will become a member of NATO” sometime in the future, the alliance has so far refused to commit to a specific timetable or provide a clear pathway for Kiev’s accession. US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have ruled out Ukraine’s membership until the fighting ends.
Russia has repeatedly stressed that it views NATO’s continuing expansion eastward as a national security threat. Moscow cited the alliance’s military cooperation with Ukraine as one of the root causes of the current conflict and described Ukraine’s potential accession as a “red line.”