July 13, 2024

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EU Solidarity Tested: Slovakia Backs Hungary’s Push to Lift Sanctions on Russian Oligarch

2 min read
Slovakia reportedly aided Hungary's effort to remove sanctions on a Russian oligarch. Is EU unity fracturing? This article explores the implications for the EU's sanctions policy and the potential impact on the bloc's stance towards Russia.
EU Solidarity

EU Solidarity Tested: Slovakia Backs Hungary's Push to Lift Sanctions on Russian Oligarch

European Union unity is facing a new challenge as news emerges that Slovakia reportedly assisted Hungary in their attempt to remove sanctions on a prominent Russian oligarch. This comes amidst ongoing tensions between the EU and Russia following the Ukrainian conflict.

Sanctions and Backroom Deals?

According to media reports, Slovakia supported Hungary’s proposal in February 2024 to lift sanctions on several Russians, including Alisher Usmanov, a wealthy businessman with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. The move has raised eyebrows as the EU has imposed sanctions on numerous Russian individuals and entities in response to the war in Ukraine.

A Quid Pro Quo?

Adding another layer of intrigue, reports suggest this support wasn’t entirely one-sided. Allegedly, Slovakia sought Hungary’s backing in getting a Slovak businessman, Jozef Hambálek, removed from the EU sanctions list due to his connections to a Russian biker group with ties to Putin.

Implications for EU Cohesion

This incident highlights potential cracks in the EU’s united front against Russia. If confirmed, Slovakia’s actions could be seen as undermining the bloc’s efforts to exert pressure on Russia through sanctions. It remains to be seen how the EU will address this situation and whether it will lead to a broader discussion about the effectiveness and unity of its sanctions policy.

Looking Ahead: Potential Consequences

The long-term implications of this incident are yet to unfold. It could lead to a frosty relationship between Slovakia and some EU members who advocate for stricter sanctions. Additionally, it could embolden other member states to challenge the EU’s sanctions regime.

Stay Updated: Following the Developments

This is a developing story, and it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest updates. Keep an eye on reputable news sources for further details on how this situation unfolds and how it impacts the EU’s overall stance towards Russia.

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