Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fičo suggested on Friday that peace negotiations should begin in Ukraine, where the war, as he sees it, “could last until 2030”.

Mr Fitzo, a populist centre-left politician, returned to the post of prime minister after parliamentary elections in late September, following a campaign marred by backlash and allegations of misinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In particular, he promised during his campaign to end the military aid programs in Kiev established by previous Slovak governments.

The war in Ukraine “could very well last until 2029 or 2030,” he told reporters in Prague after a meeting with his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala.

“It would be better to have ten years of peace negotiations with a ceasefire in place rather than sitting at the negotiating table in ten years with an additional 500 or 600,000 dead,” he added.

Mr Fitzo’s coalition government – some of his ministers belong to the far right – has already canceled a 40.3 million euro military aid package for Ukraine prepared by the previous government.

Members of the European Union and NATO, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have historic ties and a strong alliance, having been one country until the bloodless breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

The two states, which welcomed thousands of Ukrainian refugees, are divided over the issue of military aid to Kiev, with Prague in favor and Bratislava against.

“I am convinced that it makes sense, as Ukraine needs help in its courageous struggle,” said Mr Fiala for his part.

Mr Fitzo was quick to make it clear that he had no intention of preventing any other country from providing military aid to Ukraine.

“If the Czech Republic or anyone else in the world or in Europe decides to give aid to Ukraine, we will not condemn anyone,” he assured.