Robert Fico
© FacebookSlovak Prime Minister Robert Fico issues a video statement on Wednesday
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has argued that the assassination attempt that nearly killed him last month emanated from foreign-backed politicians who refuse to accept foreign policies that prioritize Bratislava's interests over the agendas of major Western powers.

Fico posted a video statement on Wednesday, marking his first public appearance since the May 15 shooting in which he was critically wounded. He credited medical workers with saving his life and said he expects to resume at least some of his work duties by around the end of this month or in early July.

The PM condemned efforts to downplay the assassination attempt and blame it entirely on a deranged gunman. "I forgive him and let him sort out what he did and why he did it, in his own head," Fico said. "In the end, it is evident that he was only a messenger of evil and political hatred, which the politically unsuccessful and frustrated opposition developed in Slovakia to unmanageable proportions."

Fico returned to power for a fourth term as prime minister after his Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party won the country's parliamentary election last September. He said his wounds from last month's shooting were so severe that it would be a "minor miracle" for him to resume his work duties within a few weeks. He warned against efforts by political adversaries - including media outlets bankrolled by billionaire political activist George Soros - to shrug off the implications of the attempted assassination.

"I want to ask the anti-government media, especially those co-owned by the financial structure of George Soros, not to go down this path and to respect not only the gravity of reasons for the attempted murder, but also the consequences of this attempt," Fico said.

The long-time leader added that he had been warning for several months of likely political violence because of the "hatred and aggressiveness" of Slovakia's opposition parties. He lamented that major Western democracies stood silent as those parties attacked political opponents and stoked hatred.

He warned that more political violence is to be expected if opposition forces continue on their present course. "The horror of May 15th, which you all had the opportunity to see practically live, will continue, and there will be more victims."

"Violent and hateful excesses against legitimate governmental power are tolerated at the international level without any comment," Fico added. "The opposition was unable to assess, because no one forced them to do so, where their aggressive and hateful politics had led sections of the society, and it was only a matter of time before a tragedy would occur."

Fico claimed the parties that ruled Slovakia from 2020 to 2023 did whatever larger Western democracies demanded, including treating Russia and China as "mortal enemies." The previous Bratislava regime also "looted" Slovak military stockpiles to provide weapons to Ukraine, he added. After returning to power in October, Fico's government halted such aid, raising the ire of NATO powers.

"It is precisely the conflict in Ukraine that the EU and NATO have elevated even more, literally sanctifying the concept of the single correct opinion - namely that the war in Ukraine must continue at any cost in order to weaken the Russian Federation," Fico said. "Anyone who does not identify with this single mandatory opinion is immediately labeled as a Russian agent and politically marginalized internationally. It is a cruel observation, but the right to a different opinion has ceased to exist in the EU."