Slovakia holds a cliffhanger election on Saturday that may reverse its support for Ukraine, just as Poland’s ruling Law and Justice abandons stalwart backing for Kyiv to rally nationalist voters ahead of its own electoral race on 15 October. Both elections will test EU unity on Ukraine, including arms deliveries and EU membership prospects.
Upcoming on Visegrad Insight:
- Albin Sybera analyses how Slovak politics is being hijacked by second-tier themes in the run-up to election by populist forces.
- Tetyana Oleksiyuk questions whether high salaries in government can help the fight against corruption.
- The European Commission will host talks between Ukraine and its CEE neighbours led by Poland in a dispute over grain. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia defied the Commission and slapped their own restrictions on exports of agricultural produce from Ukraine when the Commission lifted a temporary ban on 15 September, saying the problem with oversupply had largely been resolved.
- In the run-up to the talks, Ukraine dropped the threat to take the three to the World Trade Organisation, which would create an embarrassment for the EU. It would be obliged to defend its members in the trade body even if it had to simultaneously rap them for taking unilateral action in defiance of EU treaties.
- Azerbaijan forces attacked and took control of the remaining pocket of Armenian self-rule in Nagorno Karabakh, a province that according to international law is part of Azerbaijan but has broken away under Armenia’s and Russia’s protection in the 1990s.
- The action follows the 2020 defeat of Armenia and the re-annexation of most of the province by the gas-rich Azerbaijan during a short war. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and fears of Azeri clampdown on the ethnic Armenian majority in the province pose a challenge to the EU which must juggle its commitment to human rights and efforts to partly replace Russian gas with Azeri deliveries.
- The German government may finally bow to pressure from its eastern states to impose temporary border controls on frontiers with Poland and Czechia after a surge of irregular migrant crossings. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the In Welt am Sontag newspaper the controls would prevent people smuggling through the porous border.
- The surge in illegal crossing coincided with reports that Poland and also Hungary might have run fraudulent visa-granting schemes for non-EU citizens, allowing hundreds of thousands of work migrants into the EU. Germany and the European Commission have demanded explanations from Warsaw.
US to send missiles to Ukraine, while Poland wavers