‘Monstrous crime’: World reacts to attack on Slovakia’s prime minister

‘Monstrous crime’: World reacts to attack on Slovakia’s prime minister

World leaders have condemned an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is in a “life-threatening condition” after being shot.

The prime minister was shot “multiple times” on Wednesday in an “assassination attempt”, a statement on his official social media page said.

The 59-year-old leader was shot in the abdomen in the central town of Handlova. Police sealed off the scene, and a suspect has been detained, according to local media reports.

Here are some of the global reactions:

United States President Joe Biden

Biden condemned the shooting as a “horrific act of violence”, adding that he and first lady Jill Biden “are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin said the attack was a “monstrous crime”.

“There can be no justification for this monstrous crime. I know Robert Fico as a courageous and strong-minded man. I very much hope that these qualities will help him to survive this difficult situation,” Putin said.

The Russian leader wished Fico “a speedy and full recovery”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Guterres decried the “shocking attack carried out today against the prime minister of Slovakia”, his office said.

Guterres’s “thoughts are with the prime minister and his loved ones at this difficult moment”, his spokesman Farhan Haq said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

“I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico, his family,” von der Leyen said.

French President Emmanuel Macron

Macron said on social media that he was “shocked” by the attack.

“Shocked by the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I strongly condemn this attack,” he said. “My thoughts and solidarity are with him, his family and the people of Slovakia.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Scholz decried the “cowardly” attack and denounced “violence” in European politics.

“I am deeply shocked by the news of the cowardly attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico,” Scholz said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg

Stoltenberg said his thoughts were with Fico and the people of Slovakia.

“I wish him strength for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with Robert Fico, his loved ones and the people of Slovakia,” he said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni

Meloni decried the attack and “all forms of violence” on “democracy and freedom”.

“I learned with deep shock the news of the cowardly attack,” Meloni said in a statement. She also stressed her government’s “strongest condemnation of all forms of violence and attacks on the cardinal principles of democracy and freedom”.

Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The ministry said in a statement that it “condemns the assassination attempt against the prime minister of the Slovak Republic” and “wishes [him] good health and a speedy recovery”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Orban decried the “heinous” attack against Fico.

“I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country!” Orban said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

Vucic said Fico was a “great friend” and he would pray for his health.

“I am shocked by the attempted assassination of Robert Fico, a great friend to me and to Serbia. Dear friend, I pray for you and for your health,” Vucic said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Sanchez said he was “horrified” by the attack and “nothing can every justify violence”.

“Horrified and outraged at the attack on the Slovak Prime Minister. Spain stands with Robert Fico, his family and the Slovak people at this extremely difficult time. Nothing can ever justify violence,” he wrote on social media.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer

Nehammer said he was shocked at the attack and warned “hatred and violence must not take hold in our democracies”.

“The attempt on the life of my Slovak colleague Robert Fico shocks me deeply. Just a few days ago we spoke on the phone and talked intensively about security issues. I wish him a speedy and complete recovery! Hatred and violence must not take hold in our democracies and must be fought with all determination!” Nehammer said on social media.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy condemned the attack and warned that violence should not become normalised.

“We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighbouring 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,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan “strongly” condemned “the heinous assassination attempt”.

“I extend my get-well wishes to the people and government of Slovakia on behalf of my country and nation,” Erdogan said and wished him a speedy recovery.

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