Robert Fico, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, was shot and wounded on Wednesday as he greeted crowds that gathered outside a community center where a government meeting had been held in the town of Handlova.

Witnesses reported hearing several shots and seeing wounds to his head and chest before security collected him and brought him into a vehicle. He has been hospitalized and the alleged attacker has been apprehended by the police. Initial reports from local outlets indicate that the shooter’s name is Juraj Cintula, a man described as a liberal writer and activist. Authorities said a motive has yet to be determined.

Utterly shocked by today’s brutal and reckless attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in strongest possible terms,” said outgoing president Zuzana Čaputová.

“We unequivocally and strongly condemn any violence. We trust that Prime Minister Fico will be fine and that this terrible act will be brought to light as soon as possible,” said opposition leader Michal Šimečka.

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Fico had announced Monday that the Slovak government has plans to build another nuclear power plant with the ability to reach up to 1.2 gigawatts. The decision to move forward with the proposal was due to be decided on today. “We have an agreement that Slovakia – the state – has interest in building, under state ownership, one massive nuclear unit with output of up to 1,200 megawatts,” Fico told reporters.

According to Reuters, Slovakia has “taken a more pro-Russian stance” under Fico’s leadership. However, the construction of the new plant would be operated by a utility company partially owned by the Slovakian government, and the pick of the contractors to supply the technology it would have excluded Russian company Rosatom. “From the political point of view we cannot imagine that the technology would come from the Russian Federation,” Economy Minister Denisa Sakova said. “We expect that top companies active in nuclear energy will be interested,” saying American, French, and Korean companies would be involved.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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