Slovakia’s new government, led by populist Prime Minister Robert Fico who ended the country’s military aid for Ukraine, won a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament on Tuesday.
Of the 143 lawmakers present in the 150-seat Parliament, 78 voted in favor of the three-party coalition government that was sworn in on Oct 25.
Fico returned to power and took over as prime minister for the fourth time after his scandal-tainted leftist Smer, or Direction, party won Slovakia’s Sept. 30 parliamentary election on a pro-Russian and anti-American platform.
Fico formed a parliamentary majority by signing a coalition government deal with the leftist Hlas, or Voice, party and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party.
Fico’s victory may mark a dramatic turnaround in the country’s foreign policy and could strain a fragile unity in the European Union and NATO.
Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million people that shares a border with Ukraine, had been a staunch supporter of Kyiv since Russia invaded in February last year, donating arms and opening its borders for refugees fleeing the war.