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Slovakia’s PM Fico in critical condition — defense minister

Robert Kalinak said that the prime minister had been undergoing surgery for more than 3.5 hours

BRATISLAVA, May 15. /TASS/. Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is in extremely serious condition, Defense Minister Robert Kalinak said at a press conference.

"His condition is extremely serious. We are praying for his health. We have no good news so far. Indeed, he is in a very serious condition," Kalinak said, adding the prime minister had been undergoing surgery for more than 3.5 hours.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said at that press conference that Fico "is in critical, life-threatening condition."

According to the minister, the assailant made up his mind to assassinate the prime minister shortly after the recent presidential election which was won by Social Democrat Peter Pellegrini, an associate of Fico.

"The assassination attempt was politically motivated," Sutaj Estok said.

In addition, the Interior Minister said that Slovakia would tighten security measures by stepping up protection of the country’s top officials, high-ranking politicians, including opposition ones, and major organizations, including the editorial offices of major media outlets.

Fico adheres to a principled position on Ukraine, advocating an immediate ceasefire and peace talks. His government, which took office in October 2023, has halted military supplies to Kiev, but provides humanitarian assistance. The prime minister speaks out for normalizing relations with Russia.