Mesežnikov Grigorij, Bartoš Ján
Institute for Public Affairs, Bratislava, 2021
The events of 2021 connected to Slovakia’s relations with Russia provoked a debate how strong is the pro-Western orientation of Slovakia – not only the formally declared by the state, but internalized by politicians and the population. The mentioned cases are likely to be on the list of episodes of geopolitical short-sightedness and carelessness of individual state officials or their inexperience regarding the practices of Russian actors of hybrid warfare against the West. It is possible that the circumstances of these episodes will quickly fall into oblivion. However, there will remain a conglomerate of pro-Kremlin actors with its ideological breadth – from fascists and nationalists through communists and self-proclaimed social democrats to Europhobic conservatives.
What encourages so differently oriented Slovak politicians to promote ties with a declining power with an aggressive foreign policy and an undemocratic political regime instead of a stable alliance with the West, bringing Slovakia long-term political stability, economic prosperity and solid security guarantees? How did it happen that the Slovak fans of "alternatives" decided to play a game in the style of "Russian roulette" with their own country and to take a risk that if the imaginary revolver fires in this game, the bullet will hit the whole country?
The publication Who is Playing Russian Roulette in Slovakia by Grigorij Mesežnikov and Ján Bartoš helps to find answers to these and other questions. It also brings information about the basic characteristics of contemporary Russian state, its foreign policy priorities and place that Central European countries, including Slovakia, occupy in these priorities. It maps the scene of pro-Russian forces in Slovakia, examines the extent to which their "alternative" ideas of cooperation with the Eastern power are in line with the Kremlin's strategic intentions in Europe.
The English edition of the book Who is Playing Russian Roulette in Slovakia was supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
More info about the publication (content, video, infographics) on the IVO website.
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