Russia in the Czech Foreign Policy

Petr Kratochvil, Karel Svoboda
Content Type
Institute of International Relations Prague
Amid the ever-higher tensions between the West and Russia, the Czechs became more active on the political level in 2017, with the highlight being the official visit of President Zeman to Russia. However, several structural factors prevented this flurry of political activity from turning into tangible political or economic results. First, the ongoing sanction regime and Russia’s aggressive stance in the neighbourhood rendered any deeper economic or political co-operation difficult to achieve. Second, the focus on internal issues (the then upcoming presidential elections in both countries) made foreign policy a mere pawn in the domestic political games. Third, while President Zeman confirmed his role as one of the most vocal advocates of President Putin, the continuing polarisation of the public opinion as well as the re-grouping of Czech anti-Kremlin forces limited his influence on the day-to-day Czech policy vis-à-vis Russia.
Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Domestic politics
Political Geography
Russia, Europe, Czech Republic