Divided Stands the Visegrad?
The V4 have been united towards the Ukraine crisis but remain split concerning Russia
Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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destabilization of Ukraine and the possible escalation of the crisis have
presented a direct security risk to the Visegrad countries – Poland, the Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – particularly concerning military security, the
potential interruption of energy transit, and the possible influx of refugees.
These factors have forced the Visegrad states to show unprecedented unity and
activism in addressing the crisis.
regarding the possibility of sanctioning Russia, the Visegrad Group is unable
to take a joint position. The main reason for this is that Russia does not pose
a direct military threat to the region.
the individual policies of the Visegrad countries towards Russia are defined by
a constellation of geopolitical concerns, normative motivations, business
interests and domestic political ambitions, which are decidedly different in
all four cases.
political motivations, such as the will to increase domestic legitimacy, and
concerns over the economic effects of sanctions, obviously influence the
foreign policy actions of the Visegrad governments. However, Viktor Orbán of
Hungary was the only one to break the Visegrad solidarity on Ukraine with his
domestically-motivated remarks in May 2014 and demanding autonomy for
Hungarians living in the Trans-Carpathian region.
normative, business and domestic political motivations are of a lasting
strategic nature, it is highly likely that the general incoherence of the
Visegrad region regarding Russia will prevail.