Zelensky praised the Slovaks over the telegram, some deputies left the hall to protest against him World

“I would like to thank you for all the help it provides to Slovakia in Ukraine,” he said in a speech over the telebridge. “We appreciate your defensive support and determination, which shows that freedom without power is in vain,” Zelenskyj said. He thus clearly reacted to the earlier decision of the Slovak government to supply the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft system to Ukraine. At present, there are other military supplies from Slovakia, including, for example, T-72 tanks.

Zelenskyj also emphasized that the Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger was one of the first foreign leaders to have the opportunity to see what Russian forces had done in the suburbs of Kiev. In his speech, the Ukrainian president called for further tightening of sanctions, including an embargo on Russian oil supplies. At the same time, he expressed understanding that Slovakia cannot immediately stop taking raw materials from Russia.

Zelenskyj also recalled the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 and the subsequent Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, which he described as tyranny. The majority of deputies provoked the president’s words and responded to them with standing ovations. Some deputies wore clothes in the Ukrainian national colors, blue and yellow.

In response to the words of the Ukrainian head of state, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that his country would do everything in its power to bring Ukraine out of the war as a winner and Russia to be defeated.

“If the democratic countries do not give up in helping Ukraine and Ukraine gets the weapons systems it needs, it will be able to drive the Russian army back to where it was before February 24,” the prime minister wrote on Facebook. At the same time, he fought very sharply in some Slovak opposition politicians, who allegedly approve of the Russian aggression.

Former Prime Minister Fico called Zelenský a liar

Not all members of the National Council listened to the words of the Ukrainian president. At the beginning, members of the right-wing radical Republic Party, made up of former members of the extremist People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) Mariana Kotleby, left the hall. The head of the Republic, MEP Milan Uhrík, wrote on Facebook that Zelensky “makes demands on foreign states as if he ruled the whole world.”

The legislators of ĽSNS and some deputies of the former government party Smer-social democracy, former Prime Minister Robert Fico, also left the hall. The former three-time prime minister announced on Monday that he would not listen to a man “lying on a daily basis.” Along with him, the vice-president of Smer, Ľuboš Blaha, who is considered one of the most active in the Slovak disinformation scene and has been spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda for a long time, was also missing.

“Zelensky is a comedian, actor and entertainer by profession. If I want to watch a comedy, I’ll play Mr. Bean, I don’t need to go to parliament because of that, “Blaha wrote on social media.

A recent survey by YouGov found that pro-Russian attitudes resonated very strongly in the Slovak public. According to research conducted in collaboration with the European University Institute, 45 percent of Slovaks believe that the West and the North Atlantic Alliance, not Russia, are more or less guilty of the war in Ukraine. Only in Bulgaria and Greece do more people hold similar views, namely 57 percent. Hungary came in fourth with 33 percent.

Like Ukraine’s other direct neighbors, Slovakia was one of the countries to which most refugees fled after the Russian invasion. Since the end of February, more than 410,000 refugees have crossed the common border, with less than 75,000 applicants receiving temporary refuge in the country. In recent days, however, some Ukrainians have begun to return home. Over two thousand people pass through one of the border crossings in both directions every day. The wife of American President Jill Biden, who visited Slovakia at the weekend, was also interested in the fate of the refugees.

A number of Western media have already noticed the supportive attitude of the Slovak government not only towards refugees, but also towards the Ukrainian government. In recent days, Prime Minister Heger has been a sought-after guest for talks with, for example, the British BBC and the American CNN.

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