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After Ukraine: Are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary Veering Off The NATO/EU Reservation?

Despite the firmness shown by the EU’sbiggest players when it comes to sanctioning Putin’s Russia, lower down the pecking order some member states are not happy. Unlike the most craven and obedient puppets — the Baltic States and Poland — it took some arm twisting to get the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to agree to punish Moscow for annexing Crimea. Each country is dependent for much of its energy on Russia with which there are also valued economic ties. Why rock the boat? Despite hyperbole claiming that Vladimir Putin was intent on taking them over and rebuilding the iron curtain, in reality, Russia has been an unproblematic neighbour for a quarter of a century.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 17.12.2014


 

Viktor Orban Threatened by Maidan-Style Protest Movement

...The Hungarian prime minister’s independence, including with regard to Russia, has long irritated both Brussels and Washington. Viktor Orban’s statements regarding his intention of finding allies in Europe capable of opposing the introduction of new sanctions against Russia together have not gone unnoticed. Western capitals have been particularly outraged by the fact that on 4 November 2014, the Hungarian parliament passed a law allowing the construction of the South Stream pipeline to take place in Hungary, despite the position of the European Commission...

Vladislav GULEVICH | 12.11.2014


 

The Situation in Transcarpathia Intensifies

Fears that Kiev is in a position to try and repeat the ‘Donbass Scenario’ in Transcarpathia do not seem to be without grounds. Consequently, those behind the Carpathian Mountains are talking about federalisation increasingly emphatically... The demands of the Rusyns and Hungarians in Transcarpthia are based on a solid legal foundation, and they share a common goal and a common threat. The common threat is Ukraine, and the situation is intensifying. There have been repeated instances of the destruction of Ukrainian state symbols in Uzhhorod and Mukachevo, explosions in the local offices of PrivatBank, and demonstrations by Transcarpathian residents against mobilisation for war – everything is leading to the fact that the issue of granting Transcarpathia the status of an autonomous federal entity could come to a head... 

Olga NEGODA | 27.10.2014


 

US Imposes Sanctions against Hungarian Citizens

...The US decision to impose sanctions against some Hungarian politicians, businessmen and tax officials has evoked a shock reaction in Budapest. Even the European Commission has not dared to do anything similar, no matter it has many times accused Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban of violating EU regulations and standards. No wonder! There is something important at stake – the fate of the most important endeavor ever undertaken since the Second World War. The goal is to use sanctions and other means of pressure to subjugate Russia and make it serve the vital interests of the West. Hungary has happened to be a «weak link» among the European Union’s ranks...

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 22.10.2014


 

New Сracks in the anti-Russian Front

The anti-Russian colours that the policies of the European Commission and the US administration are painted in regarding the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia are slowly losing their lustre and beginning to peel off. Within the European Union there are pockets of internal resistance to the anti-Russian policy that are particularly noticeable against the feverish attempts by Brussels to force Serbia and other countries, where the mirage of joining the EU still seems to be a bit like reaching the Promised Land, to join in with the sanctions... 

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 17.10.2014


 

Plight of Romanians and Hungarians in Ukraine

The independent Ukraine boasts a rather short history. The relations with minorities have never been a feather in the hat of Kiev authorities. The real state of things was largely muted to make it a smouldering problem. The «national revolution» has exacerbated the situation to the boiling point, especially talking about Hungarians and Romanians... 

Vladislav GULEVICH | 09.10.2014


 

Hungary to Increase Russian Gas Supplies

Hungary has reached an agreement with Gasprom on increased gas supply to replenish the reserves of the country during the autumn-winter period, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said after the talks with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. The country’s gas storage facilities are currently 61% filled. Increasing Russian gas supplies is the only way to improve the situation. The decision should have been taken a long time ago. Some disagree. There are also those who express discontent with the Budapest’s decision to suspend reverse flow supplies to Ukraine...

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 04.10.2014


 

Hungarian Factor. Transcarpathian Fragment of Ukrainian Patchwork

The “strange armistice” in Donbass and the upcoming parliamentary election in Ukraine have made pale the events in Transcarpathia, the region where the situation can hardly be called tranquil. The radical Ukrainian nationalism has become decisive for shaping the new regime’s policy, the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the mobilization of Ukrainians to fill the ranks of those who take part in the punitive operation against Novorossia – all told these factors have given impetus to separatist trends in the Transcarpathian region. Ukrainian MPs have granted self-rule to parts of two eastern regions while Budapest strongly supports the demands of Hungarian minority to grant special status to Transcarpathia. 

Grigory STAVRIDIN | 30.09.2014


 

The Polish-American Landmine under the Visegrad Group

Conflicts within the European Union are continuing to intensify, and one of the most successful regional projects in Europe – the Visegrad Group – is at risk... Rather than associating themselves with the policy of Brussels and Warsaw regarding Ukraine, Budapest, Prague and Bratislava are discussing the economy, calculating their losses as a result of anti-Russian sanctions, and even criticising the European Union. Warsaw’s dissatisfaction with the course of events is growing. A lengthy article published in the leading Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza on 19 September puts the question bluntly: why is the Visegrad Group not united in its condemnation of Russia, and why is it not hurrying to rally its members around Poland as the main defender of Ukraine? Hungarians, Czechs and Slovaks are accused of collective amnesia, what the newspaper calls exaggerated trade and economic links with Russia...

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 28.09.2014


 

EU twists the arms of candidates

Obediently continuing to follow America’s lead, the European Union is stepping up pressure on non-EU member countries to force them to join anti-Russian sanctions. As leverage, they are using their plans, expectations and misconceptions of European integration... It is unsurprising that the European Union has hurried to force events, although not to reduce tensions in their own relations with Moscow, but to create new dividing lines and ‘trade fronts’... According to Viktor Orban, Poland and the Baltic states are predominantly considering the Russian question in terms of security, while Hungary sees Russia as a business partner and regards other aspects of the current situation as secondary.

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 04.09.2014




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Finian CUNNINGHAM

Ending the Cold War on Cuba? From the Freezer to the Chiller

As US President Barack Obama announced his surprise «historic» bid to normalise relations with Cuba this week, the New York Times swooned with glowing news. ‘US to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility’ was how its top headline put it. Welcoming the development, the American «newspaper of record» said Obama vowed to «cut loose the shackles of the past» and to «sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War». But, purple prose aside, the hard detail is that the ongoing illegal American embargo on Cuba will stay in place. Moreover, the move comes as Washington slaps on more sanctions against Russia and unleashes new sanctions on Venezuela...

19.12.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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