Czech Election Sends a Reassuring Signal to Ukraine and NATO

Czech Election Sends a Reassuring Signal to Ukraine and NATO
Czech President-elect Petr Pavel, then still a candidate, arrives at his election headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, Jan. 14, 2023 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).

The European Union’s College of Commissioners traveled overnight to Kyiv, ahead of this week’s historic EU-Ukraine summit, the first to take place in a warzone. The commissioners will meet with senior Ukrainian government officials, including Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who announced ahead of the planned meeting that Kyiv has set an “ambitious goal” of joining the EU in two years.

But several EU member states have thrown cold water on a timeline that they regard as unrealistic, and the 27 commissioners were faced with the delicate task of managing Kyiv’s expectations regarding its aspiration for EU membership. Otherwise, Ukraine had a relatively successful week in terms of diplomatic reassurances of continued Western support amid its war with Russia. That optimism was further underscored by the Czech presidential election on Saturday, whose outcome should favor Kyiv.

Many in Ukraine watched the Czech election closely as a bellwether for whether European public opinion would continue to support the delivery of military aid to Kyiv. And for many Czech citizens, the second round runoff between Petr Pavel, a retired general who previously served as chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and populist former Prime Minister Andrej Babis was essentially a referendum on whether to stick with Prague’s NATO allies or align with Hungary in pushing for a Ukrainian surrender to Russia.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review