Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal on Wednesday said Kyiv wanted pragmatic relations with Slovakia, as he hosted his Slovak counterpart whose inflammatory remarks have soured ties between the two countries.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who leads a populist government in Bratislava, questioned Ukrainian sovereignty and called for a compromise with Russia just days before visiting Ukraine.

"Despite the disagreement, we intend to form a policy of new pragmatism" with Slovakia, Ukrainian premier Denys Shmygal said at the meeting in Uzhhorod, on the border between the countries.

Populist leaders in Europe, such as in Slovakia and Hungary, have grown increasingly tired of the grinding conflict in Ukraine Kyiv's urgent requests for support.


Shmygal said he hoped the meeting with Fico would "open a new page in our relations".

Video on social media showed the two officials shaking hands and standing next to their countries' respective flags.

"Of course there are some issues, where we might have different opinions, that's life," Fico said during the meeting, adding that he had invited Shmygal to visit Slovakia.

One day before the meeting, Fico told reporters life in Kyiv was "normal", hours after Russian missiles pounded the city wounding nearly two dozen people.

In his latest criticism of Ukraine, Fico said there was no military solution to the conflict since Russia's invasion nearly two years ago.

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According to government sources, over 3,000 convicts have expressed their willingness to join the military following the recent enactment of a law facilitating this recruitment.

Ukraine, he said, would have to give up some territory.

Kyiv has urged the United States and the European Union to unblock billions of dollars worth of funding, held up in Brussels and Washington.

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