Diverging Voices, Converging Policies

The Visegrad States’ Reactions to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
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The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the launch of a hybrid war against Ukraine was Russia’s answer to the revolution triggered by Euromaidan. The conflict continues to pose fundamental challenges for the European Union, and raises the question of whether the EU will maintain its commitment to the political and economic consolidation of those of its Eastern neighbours which aim to make sovereign choices based on the rule of law and democracy.

Although the EU has reacted to the conflict in a unified manner by imposing sanctions on Russia, statements made by some European political leaders have undermined the public perception of European unanimity. Officials of the Visegrad countries, for instance, have been divided on certain aspects of the conflict.

In order to explain the differing reactions of individual Visegrad countries, the offices of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Prague and Warsaw asked their partner organisations to systematically analyse how these countries have dealt with the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Particular consideration was to be given to the differing historical experiences, public opinions, economic relations, and energy- and foreign policy of the Visegrad countries.

We hope that the findings of this report will stimulate further critical and constructive debate on the perspectives and positions of the Visegrad Group and its role within the EU.


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  • The Visegrad countries have a stake in the success of a pro-European Ukraine
    Jacek Kucharczyk, Grigorij Mesežnikov

Czech Republic

  • Domestic political context since 1989: Russia as a dividing element in Czech society
    Petr Kratochvíl, Věra Řiháčková
  • Foreign policy and external security: The diverging trajectories of domestic actors vis-a-vis the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
    Věra Řiháčková
  • Trade and energy – the conflict’s limited impact on the Czech economy
    Helena Schulzová


  • Domestic political context since 1989: Hungary, Russia, Ukraine
    Lóránt Győri, Bulcsú Hunyadi, Attila Juhász, Péter Krekó
  • Hungarian foreign policy and the crisis in Ukraine
    Botond Feledy
  • Hungary and Russia in economic terms – love, business, both or neither?
    Ada Ámon, András Deák


  • The long shadow of the Kremlin: Polish domestic reactions to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
    Jacek Kucharczyk, Aleksander Fuksiewicz
  • Back to basics? Polish foreign policy and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
    Agnieszka Łada, Łukasz Wenerski
  • Consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict for the Polish economy and energy sector
    Łukasz Wenerski, Andreas Speiser


  • Slovakia’s response to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict: Domestic socio-political aspects, parties’ stances, public opinion
    Grigorij Mesežnikov, Oľga Gyárfášová
  • Slovakia’s foreign policy towards the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
    Alexander Duleba
  • Economics and energy in Slovak-Russian relations in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
    Juraj Mesík

The V4 in comparative perspective

  • Diverging voices, converging policies
    Jacek Kucharczyk, Grigorij Mesežnikov


  • The V4 reassembled – but to what end?
    Jacek Kucharczyk, Grigorij Mesežnikov

About the authors

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