The latest wave of economic sanctions being readied by the EU against Russia are making many Slovak companies shake, with Prime Minister Robert Fico ready to stand against some of them if necessary.
Many Slovak companies have already felt the brunt of earlier sanctions against Russia for its part in the Ukraine conflict, with some companies dependent on Russian orders going bust as Russia retaliated with EU food import bans in August, for instance.
PM Fico announced at a meeting of EU leaders at the weekend that he may exercise Slovakia’s right to reject some of the planned sanctions, with similar sentiment being expressed by his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary, as all the countries attempt to prevent further impacts on their economies. The Slovak government should receive a full list of commodities and businesses affected by the sanctions from the EU today, before deciding how to proceed.
Earlier sanctions are already affecting the whole of the EU, with some countries less affected than others, but as the volatile conflict in Ukraine continues, the new ‘chilled’ war between the EU and Russia may last longer than first thought.
The two largest employers associations in Slovakia AZZZ and RUZ are both against further sanctions and warn of the economic and social consequences, with the trade union organisation KOZ also backing the government in standing against any sanctions that could strongly impact the country. Slovakia is in a corner, though, as it is far more dependent on exports to countries like Germany, so any opposition to what Chancellor Merkel called ‘essential sanctions’ may not be so well digested by Slovakia’s EU partners.