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Russian propaganda likes Fico’s Ukraine card. Former prime minister sharpens focus

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On the left is a statue of Rastislav Štefánik, in the middle, with Robert Fico shirt and tie, on the right a bonsai tree. Smér, the former Slovak prime minister and head of the opposition party, begins his short video on social networks with “Dear friends”.

Then came the harsh statements regarding the sanctions against the European Union and Putin’s Russia. Putting an embargo on the import of Russian oil, Fico says in his second sentence, “So the European Union has taken a good blow.”

Fico: Sanctions are unnecessary

Imports to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia via the Družba pipeline have an exception for an indefinite period. Refineries in Litvínov and Bratislava still depend on the processing of Russian oil.

“The European Union has undertaken a suicide mission,” adds Fico, adding that this task is the EU’s voluntary cut off from Russian oil, which, according to him, was “imposed on the Union by the Americans.” Moreover, in Fico’s eyes, European sanctions “won’t change Russia’s attitude towards Ukraine by a single inch”.

Will the government fall in Slovakia?

Slovakia is in the midst of a political crisis. On Thursday, Parliament will vote on a vote of no confidence in Eduard Heger’s government. The minority cabinet will likely not be able to hold out and the country is on the verge of snap elections. We analyzed the political development scenarios here:

Fico refers to Ukraine as “the most corrupt country in the world”. He refers to Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová and Prime Minister Eduard Heger as “American servants”. He had also previously referred to them as “warmongers”.

125,000 people saw Fico’s video on Facebook. But he has even more followers in Russia. Sme newspaper pointed out that the Russian dubbed clip was shared on its Telegram channel by prominent pro-Putin Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. For example, a prominent presenter recently “joked” about a nuclear attack on Western capitals.

Podcast on the impact of EU sanctions on Russia 5:59:

Fico’s harsh rhetoric

Although Fico’s Smér party declares itself to be a social democratic party, in recent years it has mainly gravitated towards conservatism, nationalism, Euroscepticism and Russophilis – so its rhetoric is not much different from, for example, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz, and sometimes its political issues and the Slovak far-right.

For example, this spring, Fico called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a liar. He also repeatedly opposed the supply of weapons to Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

In the summer, the Ukrainians “in exchange” included him on the list of public figures disseminating Russian propaganda compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Combating Disinformation.

According to the Ukraine Centre, Fico claims that unlike Russia, Ukraine does not comply with the so-called Minsk agreements and that it is not possible to prove Russia’s responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine. He also credits the politician for calling for the lifting of Western sanctions against Russia.

In a recent poll by Focus agency for TV Markíza, Smér came out as the second most powerful political party.

This year, the instability of the governing coalition, the social situation and the fact that parliament has not handed him over for his custody case in the spring, and that the entire prosecution was finally overturned by the Attorney General’s Office in late November also helps. former prime minister this year

Harassment by the police and financial management against political opponents of Fico’s party was suspected.

Fico’s rhetoric can be expected to strengthen with the fall of the government in Slovakia and the brink of early parliamentary elections. The fate of Eduard Heger’s cabinet will likely be decided on Thursday evening. The government probably won’t survive a no-confidence vote.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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