A Friend Lost?

The Slovak Elections Seen by the Russian Pro-Government Media

31 March 2020

According to Russian pro-government media, the Slovak elections in February 2020 constituted a fundamental breakthrough from Russia’s perspective. “Old friend Fico” was replaced by “strict” Matovič.

It is well known that the Russian pro-government media reporting on events taking place in other countries is always couched in the context of that nation’s relationship with Russia, or with the West – with which the Russian state has long been in conflict. The activities of individual political actors are judged by their attitude towards Russia and its policies, and whether they are too inclined to support its rivals in the international arena.

Slovakia is no exception. Rather, as the local scene is somewhat more diverse than in some other countries, there is a wider choice of political actors with different attitudes towards Moscow.

An illustrative example of how the aforementioned optics are utilised is in the evaluation of the results of the February Slovak parliamentary elections by the Russian media. The dominant context proved to be their possible impact on Slovakia’s policy towards Russia.

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Grigorij Mesežnikov

Grigorij Mesežnikov is a political scientist and the President of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in Slovakia. He has published expert studies on party systems’ development and political aspects of transformation in post-communist societies, illiberal and authoritarian tendencies, populism, nationalism and hybrid threats in various monographs, collections and scholarly journals in Slovakia and other countries.

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