By Athena Papakosta

An earthquake – which many expected – happened last weekend in Slovakia and now everyone is weighing the chances of changing the country’s diplomatic balance in favor of Moscow.

Slovakia held parliamentary elections on Saturday, September 30. In these, the populist, pro-Russian party of the country’s former prime minister, Robert Fitzo, came first. It is the SMER-SSD which secured 22.94% of the vote – despite the exit polls giving the victory to the centrist-liberal party Progresivne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia, PS) which finally gathers 17.96% of the votes votes.

Robert Fitzo says he is ready to start talks with the other parties to form a coalition government. “We are here, we are ready (…) we have clear ideas, we have clear plans”, he emphasized.

Key to the next day in Slovakia is the third party in votes, HLAS, with 14.70% of Peter Pellegrini, former vice-president of Smer-SD and successor to Mr Fico as the head of the government in 2018. Also entering the Parliament are the following parties: Oleno (8.89%, center), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH, 6.82%), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS, liberal, 6.32%), Slovak National Party (ultranationalist, SNS, 5.62%) . The Democracy party (extreme right, 4.75%) remains outside the parliament.

According to analysts, Fico is likely to work with HLAS and the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party to collect 79 of the 150 seats in parliament. However, negotiations to form a government may take several weeks to complete.

All eyes are on the direction Slovakia, a member of the European Union and NATO, will choose with its new government.

Robert Fitzo, before the election, criticizing the Western sanctions against Moscow, emphasized in all tones that if his party is elected first, then in Bratislava there will be an end to the sending of military aid to Ukraine.

“Guess who’s back,” Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared in a celebratory tone on Platform X, formerly Twitter, who just realized he had the ally he lacked within the European Union.

Like Orban, Robert Fitzow repeats Moscow’s narrative and claims that “the war in Ukraine began in 2014, when Ukrainian fascists killed civilians of Russian origin.”

Fico’s election represents a crack in NATO-EU unity in favor of Ukraine, with experts further concerned as Kiev’s closest core allies appear to be distancing themselves from it. They note that the alliance between Orban and Fico can even be further expanded with the addition of Warsaw, which has elections in 15 days and already the current Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, – who also comes first in the polls – has announced that his country will stop supplying arms to Kiev.