EU member warns West could cause ‘worst-case scenario’ in Ukraine

Aprilia Rine

EU member warns West could cause ‘worst-case scenario’ in Ukraine
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The agenda for a security meeting in Paris on Monday “sends chills down my spine,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said

Western nations could come up with the “worst solution” to the Ukraine conflict at a top-level meeting convened on Monday by France, according to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The Elysee Palace described the event as a chance for participants to “reaffirm their unity” and express their determination to defeat Russia. Fico confirmed on Sunday that he would attend despite speculation to the contrary.

The Slovakian head of state had concerns ahead of the gathering, however. ”The information about the issues we’re supposed to talk about on Monday sends chills down my spine,” he said in a video statement on social media.

He expressed skepticism about a “total escalation” of the conflict by the West and “unlimited military and financial assistance” that the strategy entails. He also pledged not to let Slovak troops become involved in the fighting, even if it costs him his premiership.

An outspoken critic of the Western approach to the Ukraine conflict, Fico said he wanted to consult with Slovakia’s national security council and his coalition partners before going to Paris.

An unnamed French presidential official explained to AFP that Ukraine’s backers need to counter any “impression that things are falling apart” after a series of setbacks on the battlefield. The intention is to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “he will not prevail” and to examine ways to “do things better and more decisively,” the official added.

The meeting in Paris comes as hostilities enter their third year. The government in Kiev rejected a draft peace agreement with Moscow in 2022, and opted to seek a military victory instead. Last year, Ukrainian forces failed to regain any significant territory despite receiving numerous heavy weapons from foreign donors.

Russia liberated the strategically important Donbass town of Avdeevka this month. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and top officials have blamed a shortage of Western weapons for their earlier failed counteroffensive and the current retreat. Half of pledged arms arrive in Ukraine behind schedule, costing Kiev both troops and land, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov complained on Sunday.

READ MORE: Half of Western arms arrive late – Ukrainian defense chief

Moscow has argued that donated weapons only serve to prolong the hostilities and cannot change the outcome. It perceives the conflict as a US-led proxy war on Russia, in which Ukrainians serve as “cannon fodder.”

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