Fico dilemma how to be „pattern” European in good relations with Russia

19.06.2015 | By Łukasz Kołtuniak

During his second term in office Slovakia prime minister Rober Fico break up with his image of the „black sheep” of European Community. However his policy of „the model European social democratic governement” is in danger because of the Ukrainian crisis.

            In the internal policy the ruling party Smer and Fico as it’s leader has opinion of rather populistic. It seem that that populist approach to internal policy  is transferred into foreign policy. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis Slovakia try to keep the good relations with all fighting side. But does it possible in the longer perspective?

            In his first time in office (2006-2010) Fico looks on Russia with unhidden sympathy. His statements during five days war in 2008 give rather pro-Russian impression. In this time Slovakia was on the carpet of EU. Critical exacerbation in relations with Hungary and undemocratic laws in the internal policy caused the image of the „black sheep of EU”. However the Community can’t critize Fico as sharply as  now teach the Orban governement because of still very fast temp of economical development of Slovakia.

            Now Fico seem to be in trouble. His moderate and friendly policy towards Russia has the long rooting in Slovak and also Czech political traditions. Both for Czech and Slovak nations Russia not only is not historical enemy but there exist the long history of sympathy between these Slavic states. From the other side there aren’t common history of Slovakia and Ukraine. During from Polish perspective Ukraine as the former territory of Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth constitute the historical arena of influence from Slovakian perspective the diffrences between Russian and Ukrainian nations aren’t such obviously. In the same way the right of Ukrainian right to the indenpendent policy and to not belong to the Russian sphere of influence semm not to be the fact included by foreign policy makers. However the centre right-wing narrations assuming the support for both traditional sphere of influence what means the Western Balcans and the states of the Eastern Partenrship gained probably greater understanding in Slovak foreign policy. But it doesn’t mean the readiness to cool relations with Russia. The Slovakia needs the „golden middle”. Is it possible to be the better Russia friend, Ukraine friend in the hard core of integration. Slovak people must believe that the prime minister Fico know the answer.

            But if not? At the beginning of june Fico was in Moscow. Putin and Miedwiediew welcome him by the traditional Zdrastvuj. He declared Slovak opposition towars EU sanctions. But does it possible that during EU summit in july Slovakia will be vote in favour of sanctions. According to Russian journalist it is more than possible. Would like to be in good relations with everybody? You won’t have been any friends.

By Łukasz Kołtuniak

About Author

Łukasz Kołtuniak

Legal counsel trainee, PhD student at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Jagiellonian University, interested in Eastern and Central Europe and political philosophy.