December 2, 2022

Kremlin cronies forced to choose sides after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Kremlin cronies forced to choose sides after Russian invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is having an important side-effect in Europe: It’s forcing a gaggle of increasingly illiberal and pro-Russian regimes in countries including HungaryPoland, and the Balkan states to choose between the EU and Russia.

So far, it appears the EU is winning. The Kremlin-friendly Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, for example, has aligning with the broader EU position on Russian sanctions, Balkan Insights reports. The Czech government, despite its pro-Russian President Milos Zeman, also swiftly condemned Russia’s actions.

Poland, which has been in a tussle with the EU over judicial independence, was unequivocal in its condemnation of Putin’s aggression, too. But while Serbia’s President Vucic has attempted to carve a middle path that doesn’t include sanctions, increased European alignment suggests that Putin has prompted unity rather than dissent among Russia’s western neighbors.

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