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Slovak police probe allegations of Russian plan to meddle in elections: report

30.05.2023 20:30
Police in Slovakia are investigating reports that Russia will attempt to influence the country’s early elections, scheduled for September, according to news outlets.
Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia.Kiwiev, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The allegations were first made by former Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad’, Poland’s tvp.info website reported on Tuesday.

Appearing in a TV talk show on Sunday, Nad’ said that top politicians in his country had been provided with intelligence about an attempt to “rig the elections according to Russia’s expectations,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.

According to Nad’, a Slovak citizen has received money to sway the elections in favour of the Direction-Social Democracy (Smer-SD) party, which is led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico, tvp.info reported.  

Smer-SD has taken the lead in the polls ahead of Slovakia’s early elections due on September 30, the PAP news agency reported. 

Fico’s party has called for an end to military assistance to neighbouring Ukraine, which has been fighting against Russia's full-scale invasion since February last year, the Reuters news agency has reported.

Russian plot to influence Slovak elections?

Slovak police have launched an investigation into a possible Russian attempt to sway the outcome of the country’s early elections, according to tvp.info.

Meanwhile, Nad’ repeated his claims in an interview with PAP on Monday.

The former Slovak defence minister said: “I can’t comment beyond what I’ve said earlier. There are such suspicions and the justice system must take action in this matter.”

Nad’ went on to say: “There are many more countries where the Russians are seeking to influence elections ... It depends on us whether they will succeed."

Meanwhile, former Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger has confirmed there is intelligence pointing to a Russian plan to influence elections in his country, tvp.info reported, citing Slovakia’s leading newspaper Pravda.

President Zuzana Čaputová and National Council Speaker Boris Kollár refused to confirm or deny whether there was evidence of a Russian plan to interfere with the September ballot, according to tvp.info.

Meanwhile, Smer-SD politicians have firmly dismissed Nad’ revelations, tvp.info also reported.

Slovakia’s SME newspaper wrote, as quoted by tvp.info: “Russia has evidently not given up on its ambitions to influence elections in foreign countries. After Moscow was proven to have interfered in the 2016 presidential elections in America, suspicions about a Russian plan to rig the elections have also emerged in Slovakia.”

Slovak police “are aware of these suspicions and are working on the case,” according to SME, tvp.info reported.

Tuesday is day 461 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, tvp.infospectator.sme.sk