Orbán Meets Putin As V4 Shaken By a Shift Of Power In Poland and Slovakia 

Democratic Security Outlook 2023: 23 October - 29 October

23 October 2023

Poland’s victorious opposition may wait weeks before they can take power because President Duda, allied with the ruling Law and Justice, seems bent on delaying the transition. In Slovakia, Robert Fico’s cabinet remains incomplete after the president turned down the controversial nomination of a climate change denier.

Upcoming on Visegrad Insight:

  • Volodymyr Yermolenko expands on the decades of divergence between Ukrainian and Russian societies. 
  • Adam Jasser writes how attitudes to democracy and governance in Central Europe affected the Polish and Slovak elections.


  • The formal EU summit takes place on 26-27 October in Brussels, with Ukraine, migration and the Gaza conflict on the agenda. The summit may be the first attended by new Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and the last show for his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki after elections in both countries.
  • The elections’ outcomes could see a reshuffle in positions of V4 countries on issues such as Ukraine and EU reforms. If the pro-EU opposition forms a government in Poland, it will likely stop protecting Hungary in the Article 7 proceedings, but Hungarian PM Orbán may now be able to rely on Mr Fico, with whom he shares pro-Russian and anti-Ukraine sentiments.
  • The US-EU summit between President Biden and Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen on Friday produced a display of unity on Ukraine and the Middle East but failed to resolve a steel trade dispute, which could see the restoration of tariffs on key EU exports worth some $6 billion.
  • President Biden sought to bolster American support for Ukraine by tying its fate to that of Israel. He said Russia and other actors were trying to destabilise the world and warned that unless Moscow is stopped in Ukraine, it could move against Poland, requiring a NATO response.
  • “American leadership holds the world together. Our alliances keep us safe. Our values make us a partner that other nations want to work with. If we turn our backs on Ukraine and Israel, we put all of that at risk,” Biden said, a day before he sent a $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan to the House for approval.
  • The EU may extend caps on gas prices, fearing that the Middle East crisis and recent suspicious damages to pipelines in Finland and Sweden could result in a spike in prices in winter despite almost full storage across the block, the FT reported.

EU readies 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine 



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