Kiev on shaky grounds as Poland, Slovakia cut arms supplies
The decision made by the two countries risks spreading among other Western countries that are growing more wary of supporting Ukraine.
Ukraine's war efforts might head downhill after Poland announced that it will stop providing Kiev with weapons and with Slovakia's Robert Fico, who is known to oppose the US-led Western role in the conflict, winning the country's latest parliamentary elections, Belgian military expert Pierre Henrot told Sputnik.
Fico's socialist Slovak party Direction, also known as Smer, won 42 seats in the Saturday parliament elections after garnering around 23 percent of votes.
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced in September that his country would be prioritizing strengthening its military and therefore would no longer send weapons to Kiev.
"Kiev will actually not suffer much immediately from this Slovak decision: the small country of 5.4 million people has nothing more to deliver, but the joint decision of Slovakia and Poland not to deliver arms to Ukraine anymore is a very bad blow for the Kiev government," Henrot said.
"Both Poland and Slovakia were among the best supports to Kiev in the EU. The Slovak vote might be considered later as the turning point in the conflict, even if the decision to stop supporting Ukraine is mostly symbolic," he added.
The decision of NATO states comes at a time when European countries are becoming more wary of the expenses of supporting Kiev.
"Slovakia cannot give anything anymore, except if they buy it from the US and other sources or produce it ... But the position of Robert Fico extinguishes any will to deliver military equipment to Ukraine. Fico said repeatedly he favors negotiations and half the population sides with Russia in the conflict. The Slovak economy is not in a state to deliver more anyway," said the military specialist.
Slovakia has been a generous provider of arms - including advanced hardware such as fighter jets and air defenses - to Ukraine since the war broke out. The country also served as a hub for the transport of weapons provided by NATO members to Kiev and a maintenance station for military equipment damaged in the war.
However, Fico is known to be a fierce opponent of European and American policies of prolonging the war in the neighboring country. He has repeatedly publicly declared that he will not support Ukraine's accession to NATO and will not send "not a single round" to Kiev.