The current conflict over Ukraine has quickly escalated into a matter of geopolitical importance
Slovakia Czech Republic Hungary Ukraine
RZECZYOBRAZKOWE.PL – bssb.be
Cornered by the events and pushed into assuming a position, the European Union has officially responded to the situation by imposing sanctions against Russia in three waves – alluded to last weekend during the Summit of European leaders in Brussels, the EU is eyeing another round of sanctions, whilst Hungary, Slovakia and, increasingly, the Czech Republic are now opposed to any further sanctions against Moscow.
What is it that is behind their different positions?
It is of no surprise that Warsaw’s position, as regards the conflict over Ukraine, is hawkishly anti-Russian. As is also traditionally the case in Slovakia, the Czech Republic’s foreign policy very much depends on which parties are currently in power.
The current position Czech Republic’s regarding Russia, Ukraine and the sanctions is as follows: the coalition government is split over the issue of sanctions – with the Socialists having reserved the right to oppose any new forthcoming sanctions due to the economic costs.
Prime Minister Fico is perhaps relying on the fact that the war in Ukraine will at some point draw to a close and Putin, emerging from the conflict reinforced, will pursue a very different style of politics towards the West. In that case, Slovakia could be seen as either Russia’s entry gate to
the EU or a mediator mending the bruised relations between the West and Putin.
Budapest is trying to persuade its Euro partners to not pull away from Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. While not blocking the sanctions against Russia, Hungary’s prime minister has far from embraced the EU’s measures.