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Slovakia PM shooting could be 'catalyst for World War 3' as Putin ready to capitalise

Now, an expert warns that the shooting of Fico could be the catalyst for a “wider war” in Europe.

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, told the Daily Mail: “There are high stakes in Europe, and the threat of a wider war only benefits Putin.

“This is yet another wake-up call to the West. If we ignore this latest threat to Western security, the chances of getting drawn into a wider war in Europe are manifestly greater.”

Putin has already commented on the attack, saying: “I know Robert Fico to be a courageous and strong-spirited man. I very much hope that these qualities will help him to withstand this difficult situation.”

Mr Fico angered some in Europe when he vowed to end Slovakian military support for Ukraine and promised to stop Kyiv from gaining NATO membership.

Domestically, the Slovakian leader has adopted an anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ stances.

Fico is also a strong ally of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a leader who has also angered many in Europe by building a strong relationship with Russia.

Former chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, said: “As Slovakia increasingly comes under threat from Russia’s influence this tragic incident could easily be used as justification to introduce similar draconian restrictions as we now see in Hungary and Belarus.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack on Fico this week.

He said: “The attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is appalling. We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighboring partner state’s head of government. Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere.”


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