Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico questioned the wisdom of the bloc providing the country with an additional 50 billion euros
Ukraine is “one of the most corrupt countries in the world“, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told reporters after the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, raising doubts about the bloc’s unprecedented financing in kyiv.
Fico notably questioned the merits of an additional 50 billion euros ($52.9 billion) earmarked for Ukraine in the EU’s proposed budget, asking rhetorically: “Did funding Ukraine change the outcome of this war? So let’s invest another 50 billion, and who cares what happens?»
The prime minister agreed to increase Slovakia’s contribution to the EU by around 400 million euros over the next four years, but only if the EU could promise that it would not be stolen by Kiev.
“Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and we condition what constitutes excessive financial support on guarantees that European (including Slovak) money will not be misused.“, Fico told the assembled journalists.
Noting that the EU had not “peace plan» and that the leaders of several member countries had been “led into a dead end“Due to a lack of consistency on how to move forward, he said a blank check to Ukraine would be a hard sell in Slovakia.
“If the strategy is to continue pouring money into it, 1.5 billion euros per month without any results, what if we have to cut our own resources? After all, we have huge problems and public money is in dire shape“, explained Fico.
In exchange for increasing Slovakia’s contribution, Fico also demanded that there be no reduction in funds intended to support farmers, that the increased budget be used to combat illegal immigration and increase the competitiveness of the EU, that Slovak companies receive part of the contracts to rebuild Ukraine, and that the restoration of border infrastructure between the two nations is a priority.
The Slovak prime minister is not the only European leader to oppose the bloc’s continued efforts to financially support Kyiv. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the summit on Friday that the strategy of sending billions in aid had failed. “Ukrainians will not win on the battlefield“, he declared, promising not to approve the budgetary revision providing for an additional 50 billion euros.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto earlier this week condemned what he called “war psychosis“, accusing Brussels of planning a four-year conflict by planning massive arms spending, including possible military investments in Ukraine, without any funding or effort to resolve the hostilities.