Czech Republic to remain European bureaucracy's outpost in Eastern Europe
On October 30, Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman will officially task the winner of the parliamentary elections, billionaire Andrej Babis, who is the leader of the Czech centrist party ANO (Action of Dissatisfied Citizens), with forming a new government.
Speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza about the new leadership's future relations within the EU and if we should wait for changes in Russian-Czech relations, the director of the International Institute of the Newest States, Alexey Martynov, said: "Babis is a Czech version of Trump. A successful politician, a billionaire starts political career, gives populist promises only for the sake of winning elections, leading the government and turning the whole country into his own business.
The Czech Republic is directly dependent on the EU, on Brussels. It has its own opinion on certain issues, but it still remains an opinion. But the Czech Republic is one of the leading EU countries, European bureaucracy's outpost in Eastern Europe, unlike Poland, which did not become such an outpost. Therefore, I do not think that something will change fundamentally. Undoubtedly, the Czech Republic will try to increase bilateral relations with both Russia and other countries in the post-Soviet space, but only where it is profitable, where the possibility of rich deals is higher".
The head of the Department for Central and Eastern European Studies at the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lyubov Shishelina, drew attention to the fact that the Czechs have always opposed severe systemic restrictions, therefore, the anti-system parties won in these elections. The ANO party's victory, according to the expert, shows that although the economic situation in the Czech Republic is quite good in comparison with other Visegrad Group countries, the Czechs supported a politician which is more easily understood in human terms.
The Visegrad Group (the union of the four Central European states: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) is in a peculiar situation, according to Shishelina: "They realized that their values are at odds with the pan-European values in a number of parameters, and they try to get back to a balanced approach to the issue about values. Trying to show that they understand a number of positions differently. Now comes the period when these countries start to declare a symmetry in their relations with Brussels. Virtually all Visegrad capitals demonstrate it today".