Slovak Defense Minister Advocates for Repatriation of Mobilizable Ukrainian Men Over Western Troop Deployment

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.11 - 2024 9:55 PM CET

Robert Kaliniak - Photo: Wiki Commons
Robert Kaliniak - Photo: Wiki Commons
Slovak Defense Minister Advocates for Repatriation of Mobilizable Ukrainian Men Over Western Troop Deployment.

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Slovak Defense Minister Robert Kaliniak has sparked a significant discussion on international military support for Ukraine, suggesting that the focus of allied countries should shift from deploying Western troops to facilitating the repatriation of Ukrainian men eligible for mobilization.

During a conversation on Ta3 television, according to, Kaliniak highlighted a point of contention regarding the West's approach to the conflict in Ukraine, particularly in response to a summit in Paris led by French President Emmanuel Macron at the end of February.

Rather than emphasizing the dispatch of military forces to Ukraine, Kaliniak pointed to the refugees from Ukraine who have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including Slovakia.

He noted, "These are people who are subject to the Ukrainian law on mobilization," arguing that their return would significantly bolster the Ukrainian military's strength.

According to the Minister, there are approximately 300,000 such Ukrainians who could be repatriated to serve. Kaliniak clarified his stance, stating,

"We should actually allow those young Ukrainians who are subject to mobilization to leave, i.e., not the younger or the older, not children, mothers, and the rest, but those who can serve in the army."

In response to Kaliniak's remarks, Martin Dubeci, a member of parliament from the opposition party Progressive Slovakia (PS), participating in the same televised debate, countered that Ukraine is not explicitly requesting the return of these men.

Instead, Ukraine is appealing for the provision of ammunition. Dubeci's interjection underscores the complexities surrounding the international response to Ukraine's needs amidst ongoing conflict.

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