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Talking Europe 22.04: Russian invasion reshuffles ties within EU

In this episode of talking Europe Ashim Kumar and David Kennedy talked about two pressing topics in the region, mainly the stance of European countries towards Russia, with a closer look at Hungary, and the European economy and soaring inflation.

Hungary should sort itself out

Despite now standing in unison, European countries long couldn’t agree on their policy towards Russia. With France and Germany on a collision course, everything changed when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Victor Orban, who provided a major voice in the Visegrad group, chose to stand alongside the Russian dictator and oppose the European sanctions.

The threat of Russian aggression pushed the Baltic states to sign cooperation agreements. Moreover, both Sweden and Finland expressed their desire to join NATO with the Finnish parliament passing a bill confirming their intentions.

During their conversation about the reactions of European countries toward the Russian aggression on Ukraine, Mr Kumar boldly asked whether Hungary, with their refusal to condemn Russia for the invasion, has made the Visegrad group obsolete?

David Kennedy shared his concern adding that the recent change in the Czech Republic’s government adds fuel to the fire as the new leadership wants closer relations with the entire European Union and not the Visegrad group.

European economy, inflation

Following the sudden stop of the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and later the Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation rates keep rising. Some of the European countries managed to get through the economical crisis seemingly unscathed, like Switzerland and France. On the other hand, the Czech Republic and Lithuania managed to hit record highs with 12.7 percent and 15.7 percent inflation rates respectively.

According to Mr Kennedy, the Swiss economy went unscathed through the recent crisis because of currency exchange rates and the ironclad Swiss currency pushing many to invest in something that is bound to stay intact.

However, other European countries are struggling. Moreover, the head of the International Monetary Fund recently stated that inflation in those countries will remain high for much longer.

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