Arms for Ukraine only point of disagreement between Czechia and Slovakia, says Slovak PM

Robert Fico and Petr Fiala

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala received his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico on Friday. Mr. Fico, who is in Prague for his first official foreign visit since his election, told reporters that the two countries have similar views on most issues, with the exception of arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Robert Fico | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

Among the topics discussed by the Slovak and Czech prime ministers were energy, transport, security and defence. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Mr. Fico said Slovakia was fully committed to EU and NATO membership and was ready to fulfil its obligations.

He also welcomed Mr. Fiala's readiness to call a meeting of the Visegrad Four countries after the formation of the new Polish government, adding that the current format of the V4 is stalled.

The two politicians agreed on continuing the tradition of joint meetings of the Czech and Slovak governments. The next join session is due to take place in Prague in the spring of next year.

Robert Fico and Petr Fiala | Photo: Michal Kamaryt,  ČTK

Mr. Fico’s visit is taking place amid heightened media interest caused by critical comments made by Czech and Slovak politicians during the campaign preceding Slovak elections in late September.

Several dozen people gathered on the Vltava embankment near the seat of the Czech government on Friday morning to protest against the Slovak Prime Minister, carrying EU and Ukrainian flags; Mr. Fico has halted Slovak support to Ukraine.

Protest against the Slovak Prime Minister | Photo: Roman Vondrouš,  ČTK

Earlier on Friday, Mr. Fico met for a working breakfast with Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil and laid flowers at the memorial to Czechoslovakia's co-founder Milan Rastislav Štefánik at Strahov.

Later in the day, he was also due to meet with President Petr Pavel and the leader of the opposition ANO party and former prime minister Andrej Babiš.