(Bloomberg) -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s health is showing signs of improvement following another surgery on Friday, two days after he was shot at close range in an attack that’s been widely condemned.

Defense Minister Robert Kalinak said Fico is conscious and stable in an intensive-care unit in the central Slovak city of Banska Bystrica, although his condition remains serious. He underwent a five-hour procedure on Wednesday to treat multiple gunshot wounds. 

“I’m in a better mood because I can see that there is progress,” Kalinak said in a televised briefing. “It is still very serious, but for me it is hopeful.”

A medical team is scheduled to convene Monday to discuss Fico’s condition and treatment. Kalinak said it will still take a few more days to assess the direction of development definitively.

Fico sustained life-threatening injuries on Wednesday after a 71-year-old suspect authorities have described as a “lone wolf” assailant fired five shots at the prime minister, who had approached a crowd of people after a government meeting in the town of Handlova northeast of Bratislava.

Read more: Slovak Premier in Critical Condition as Leaders Trade Blame

Peter Pellegrini, a Fico coalition ally who is set to take office as president next month, visited the prime minister briefly in hospital on Thursday. 

“He remembers everything, and he was surprised at how quickly it happened,” Pellegrini said on TV.

The first assassination attempt on a European leader in more than two decades has sent shockwaves through one of the continent’s most polarized countries and highlighted the inflammatory politics that have become prevalent since the pandemic and turbocharged with Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

--With assistance from Zoltan Simon.

(Updates with medical plans, Pellegrini comments from fourth paragraph.)

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