Biden says he is ‘alarmed’ after Slovakian prime minister’s shooting

President Biden said he was “alarmed” after the Wednesday shooting of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico put the European leader in critical condition.

“We condemn this horrific act of violence,” Biden said in a statement. “Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”

Fico was shot multiple times after a meeting in the town of Handlova in central Slovakia while the prime minister was greeting supporters.

A post on Fico’s Facebook account said the prime minister was in “life-threatening condition,” and he was transported to the hospital via helicopter.

“The next few hours will decide,” the post reads.

Slovakian President Peter Pellegrini, a close ally of Fico, called the shooting an “assassination attempt” that was “a threat to everything that has adorned Slovak democracy so far.”

“An assassination attempt on one of the highest constitutional officials is an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy,” he wrote on the social platform X. “If we express different political opinions with guns in the squares, and not in polling stations, we endanger everything we have built together in 31 years of Slovak sovereignty.”

Slovak media outlet Denník N reported that a 71-year-old man was detained in connection with the shooting and that he had used a legally purchased gun.

Several world leaders have condemned the attack, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a close friend, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, along with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen joined those condemning the attack in a statement Wednesday.

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good,” she said.

Fico is a pro-Russian politician who won his fourth term in office last year.

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