15 May 2024 19:32

Putin views attempt on Slovak PM's life as heinous crime that can have no justification

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram to Slovak President Zuzana Caputova condemning the assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

"I learned with indignation about the attempt on the life of Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovakia Robert Fico. This heinous crime can have no justification," Putin said in a telegram published on the Kremlin website on Wednesday.

He noted that he knew Fico "as a courageous and strong-spirited man." "I very much hope that these qualities will help him endure in this difficult situation," Putin said.

He asked to convey to Fico "words of his most sincere support, as well as wishes for a speedy and full recovery."

In its turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Russia "strongly condemns the attack and wishes a speedy recovery to Prime Minister Fico."

Commenting on the statements of the Slovak president, who called for an end to "hateful rhetoric" following the assassination attempt on the prime minister, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that "before saying anything, accusing anyone, at least an initial investigation should be conducted, [and] law enforcement agencies should say their word." "But I would like to draw attention to the fact that the West has been cultivating this most hateful rhetoric for years," Zakharova said on the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

Fico was injured in a shooting incident in the town of Handlova, 150 kilometers away from Bratislava, on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital in the town of Banska Bystrica in serious condition. The gunman has been detained, he is a 71-year-old man living in southeastern Slovakia.