Russia-Ukraine: Two years of war
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Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico gestures as he attends a joint news conference with the French President at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 22, 2016.

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

After pivotal election, Slovakia forms new government

Two weeks after winning Slovakia’s elections, former PM Robert Fico, a left-wing populist who campaigned on limiting illegal migration and curtailing military support for Ukraine, has struck a deal to form a new government.

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Ukraine's aid struggles will worsen if McCarthy is ousted
Ukraine's aid struggles | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Ukraine's aid struggles will worsen if McCarthy is ousted

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a Quick Take to kick off your week and a challenging week indeed for President Zelensky as we start to see more pushback on the ability to continue to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves against the ongoing Russian invasion.

A few different stories here. The most meaningful one being the push against Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, particularly around support for Ukraine aid. And if McCarthy goes down, that is a big hit to the ability to get additional Ukrainian aid approved over the coming months. Any future speaker that sees that the conservatives of the GOP were prepared to take out Kevin McCarthy for willingness to work with the Democrats and get Ukrainian funding done separately would certainly mean that his replacement is going to be very hard pressed to put forward legislation that would continue to fund them. So this has become a big political football in the United States. Republicans, now identified Republicans, a majority say that too much aid is going from the United States. Ukraine should be significantly reduced, if not cut off entirely. Democrats, those numbers are also going up, but they're still in the minority, about 30% and independents more like 40 to 50.

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The president-elect of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, left, and SMER-SSD party leader Robert Fico, right.

REUTERS/Dhahau Naseem & REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

Election update: China champion takes Maldives, Russia scores in Slovakia

On Saturday, Mohamed Muizzu, leader of the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives, won 54% of the vote in that country’s elections, ousting incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party. Muizzu’s victory boosts China’s influence in the country to the detriment of India, whose long-standing influence has periodically caused resentment among the Maldives’ Muslim majority.
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Leaders of various political parties attend a televised debate ahead of Slovak early parliamentary election.

Reuters

Will Slovakia elect a pro-Russian premier?

On Saturday, Slovaks hit the polls in an election that has Brussels and Washington on edge. The wily left-wing, populist former PM Robert Fico, who wants to end support for neighboring Ukraine and block the country’s accession to NATO and the EU, is running neck-and-neck with the liberal Progressive Slovakia party.

Fico (that’s “FEE-tso” if you want to say it like a Slovak) has served two prior stints as PM. He was ousted in 2018 amid allegations that his associates had murdered an investigative journalist for reporting on corruption. Since then, Slovaks have suffered a succession of weak and unstable caretaker governments.

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Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences?
Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences? | Europe In: 60 | GZERO Media

Ukraine-EU farm export dispute: Are there any consequences?

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics - this week from the airport in Madrid.

What are the consequence of the dispute now between Ukraine and the European Union on farm exports?

It is not really a dispute with the European Union because the commission has said that farm exports are okay. But then suddenly Poland has an election, and Slovakia which has election and Hungary, which has own policy, said, “No, no, we don't allow these particular grain exports from Ukraine because our farmers don't like it.” That runs totally contrary to the common trade policy that the European Union is running, runs totally contrary to the solidarity with Ukraine and support to Ukraine that we have all agreed on. So yeah, we'll see what happens. It’s a serious question.

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Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and his Slovak counterpart Vladimir Meciar greeted by a crowd in 1993.

Reuters

The Velvet Divorce at 30: How Czechoslovakia did what others couldn’t

Exactly 30 years ago this Sunday, as Yugoslavia was slouching towards Europe’s ugliest bloodletting since World War II, another Slavic hodgepodge state a few hundred miles to the north did something nearly unprecedented in modern history: It broke up … peacefully.

As best anyone can tell, Czechoslovakia is the only country to have dissolved itself without bloodshed since Norway split from Sweden in 1905.

In fact, the greatest act of violence that attended the Czechoslovak breakup may have been on the ice: The Czech hockey team thrashed Slovakia 7 to 1 in their first meeting as independent countries a year later.

So how did Czechoslovakia’s uniquely peaceful split happen, and why?

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Coronavirus Politics Daily: Yemen ceasefire, Slovakia walls off the Roma, and rats return

Tenuous cease-fire in Yemen: The Saudi-UAE led coalition that has been battling Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Thursday a unilateral ceasefire, responding to a UN call for a halt in hostilities as coronavirus threatens one of the poorest countries in the world. Details are murky but the measure is to last for at least 14 days. The coalition's Houthi insurgent opponents, for their part, seem to have agreed to a cessation of hostilities but only if the Gulf states lift a yearlong air blockade. While there are potentially crossed signals, the ceasefire itself is still the most significant step towards peace in a five year civil war that's already killed some 100,000 people and left millions exposed to disease and starvation. Though no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Yemen (likely because of a lack of testing), the country's decrepit medical system could not withstand a serious outbreak of disease. The UN hopes this lull in fighting will pave the way for broader peace talks. Past attempts at halting the conflict have failed, and recent months actually saw increased fighting in a war that is largely viewed as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Will the specter of a pandemic finally bring these bitter rivals to the table?

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