Slovakia threatens to veto any further EU sanctions on Russia

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Slovakia threatens to veto any further EU sanctions on Russia

(Reuters) - Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico slammed European Union sanctions on Russia as "meaningless and counterproductive" and threatened to veto additional measures, highlighting the internal divide within the EU over its tough stance on Russia.

"I consider sanctions meaningless and counterproductive," Fico told reporters early on Sunday after meeting fellow EU leaders in Brussels.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/30/uk-eu-summit-sanctions-slovakia-idUKKBN0GU0YM20140830

I confess a certain ignorance on EU machinations. If Slovakia does veto new sanctions, will that be sufficient to put a stop to them, or can the EU institute more sanctions regardless? I tried to find out but no quick answer is forthcoming. The wiki article doesn't discuss veto power of EU nations, and a google search resulted in articles dealing with internal based disputes as opposed to external based disputes

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 I really have no idea

 I really have no idea about veto power in the EU either, but Fico is right, sanctions are meaningless and counterproductive. There is no place on earth in history where sanctions have worked. Unless you can also implement some kind of full scale military blockade as well. Even then, Russia has more than enough domestic resources to support themselves. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Yeah I agree with that. In

Yeah I agree with that. In my life I've seen sanctions do nothing more than provoke the nation being sanctioned. And you just can't cripple a world power like Russia with any fiscal strategy. Especially when that strategy affects the sanctioners about as much as the sanctionee.

Frankly I have to say I'm impressed at how long Russia let the US get away with interfering in Russia's backyard. This whole Ukraine incident has been a long time coming. It was the US that supported the Ukrainian revolution back in February, as well as interfering in Georgia and who knows where else, and trying to surround Russia with the star wars programme for decades.

Russia has been amazingly complacent, probably because they were in too bad of shape to do anything about it. But the attempts at isolating them have made them more resilient and allowed them to start rebuilding their military and economy. They have a significant ally in China, who is literally next door.

Russia is again in a position to do whatever it likes, and to tell anyone who doesn't like it to fuck themselves. The west needs to acknowledge this reality before things go too far and peace becomes unattainable. Much of Europe knows it to some extent, but some parts of Europe are just American puppets and America is deluding itself as to it's capacity to force nations to toe the American line. The empire is cracking apart.

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Russia, the US, China,

Russia, the US, China, Germany, etc... all fucking bullshit artists. I don't see any one in the driver's seat and I don't see any one pulling ahead in the game. Russia can be hurt but it would take the entire world to fuck them up (and we all know that isn't going to happen).

 


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well, as a longtime resident

well, as a longtime resident of the country in question, i can tell you this: robert fico is an ex-communist, populist, corrupt, piece of shit spoiled bully who is pissed off that he lost the country's recent presidential election, even after running a dirty campaign while his opponent seemingly ran a completely clean one. this loss seriously hurt his political clout, especially after his party won the parliamentary election by such a landslide just a few years ago. it shows that the old fucks who vote for him are dying off and the young people clearly hate his guts. so he's doing what he does best here: throwing a fit. he's trying desperately to look like a strongman to gain back some of the respect he lost. also, he's been trying to push slovakia more toward putin ever since he first became p.m. 10 years ago, but that will never work. slovakia has always had MUCH more of a western mindset (and western material means) than its eastern neighbor. besides, nothing slovakia does can do more than briefly delay the wheels that are already in motion, and fico knows this. he's just posturing, like the worthless, criminal, money-grubbing fuck he is.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
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iwbiek wrote:well, as a

iwbiek wrote:
well, as a longtime resident of the country in question, i can tell you this: robert fico is an ex-communist, populist, corrupt, piece of shit spoiled bully who is pissed off that he lost the country's recent presidential election, even after running a dirty campaign while his opponent seemingly ran a completely clean one. this loss seriously hurt his political clout, especially after his party won the parliamentary election by such a landslide just a few years ago. it shows that the old fucks who vote for him are dying off and the young people clearly hate his guts. so he's doing what he does best here: throwing a fit. he's trying desperately to look like a strongman to gain back some of the respect he lost. also, he's been trying to push slovakia more toward putin ever since he first became p.m. 10 years ago, but that will never work. slovakia has always had MUCH more of a western mindset (and western material means) than its eastern neighbor. besides, nothing slovakia does can do more than briefly delay the wheels that are already in motion, and fico knows this. he's just posturing, like the worthless, criminal, money-grubbing fuck he is.

What can they do, the youth I mean, to get rid of him. If they vote against him doesn't that hold some sort of validation that his cronies aren't in power any more?


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digitalbeachbum wrote:What

digitalbeachbum wrote:
What can they do, the youth I mean, to get rid of him. If they vote against him doesn't that hold some sort of validation that his cronies aren't in power any more?




precisely. his near-absolute power, which he has held by an overwhelming popular mandate for nearly a decade (there was about a two-year interlude where the opposition were elected, but that ended in division and resignation), is slipping from his grasp, and his decisive loss of the presidential election proved that. the youth need to get out and vote, it's as simple as that.


fico's supporters are old pensioners, political clientele, and riff-raff whose votes he flagrantly buys, either in money or free shots at the bar. they're slowly starting to die off and the youth are starting to shake their apathy and feelings of powerlessness. also, slovakia has election laws that are geared to keep people like fico in power: elections are held in the summer, when young and/or ambitious people (people who wouldn't vote for candidates like fico) were generally abroad earning money, and voting in absentia is very difficult (you have to do it in person at an embassy). now, however, america and britain are on the decline and slovakia is on the rise economically (in spite of fico's best efforts), so fewer people see any point in going abroad. in fact, many forward-thinking slovaks who made their fortunes in america or canada in the '90s or early 2000s are now returning to stay, and they are not friendly to worthless little pissant opportunists who turned in their party cards the minute they smelled change in the wind in '89. may that fucker rot like a filipino dock whore.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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as for the ukrainian


as for the ukrainian situation, not all of slovakia by any means is going to get behind this pustule. most slovaks consider themselves firmly in the western camp. they do sometimes consider both the EU and NATO to be unreasonably intrusive in domestic affairs (and rightfully so), but they see it as more of an annoyance than genuinely sinister. they certainly have no great love for russia. slovaks might be slavs, but they are vastly different from russians in almost every way. also, slovakia has sizeable, and vocal, ethnic ukrainian and ruthenian minorities, and these are strongly on the ukrainian side.

the people fico is trying to impress here are the drooling old imbeciles who still yearn for the warsaw pact days. he's hoping there'll be enough of them still wasting oxygen to keep his party in power another term. fuckin' prick.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Hmm. Do you know what effect

Hmm. Do you know what effect a Slovakian veto would have on the EU's intent to pose more sanctions?

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i'm not sure, but i freely

i'm not sure, but i freely admit i have little regard for the EU. they seem to be around mostly to promote commerce and protect cultural treasures. if they're talking about sanctions, they're basically acting as a rubber stamp for NATO and/or the UN. my point is, i strongly believe fico is doing this for domestic reasons. when it comes to foreign policy, he's a nonentity. which is a diplomatic way of saying fucking retard. slovakia might be able to delay things for a few weeks, but i very much doubt they could do even that. maybe they might be able to make things difficult for the EU, but if the big powers want to sanction russia, russia's getting sanctioned, with or without the EU's involvement.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Well the trick seems to be

Well the trick seems to be that individual members of the EU can't impose sanctions without the backing of the EU itself. My attempt to find out what a veto would accomplish revealed that the EU has authority over member states in matters of finance and international agreements. It's kind of like a giant United States, where the various EU councils act as the federal government and the nations act as states. It's a much 'looser' authority than the US federal government, as the member nations have more authority than US states do, but the basic comparison seems valid.

If my reading is correct, the UK can't just choose to impose sanctions on Russia unless they can get the EU authority to impose said sanctions. Which would explain why some members of the EU are vocally targeting Russia, yet in terms of policy have done nothing.

Which is why a veto could be something very significant. If the EU is much like the UN security council, then a veto from a member would literally kill a proposition instantly. Regardless of this guys reasons or intent, his decision could have significant impact on the EU's foreign policy.

If my interpretation and speculation is accurate, Slovakia could very well have the ability to shut down any attempt by any member of the EU to sanction Russia. Which would effectively leave the US as the only sanctioner of any relevance. There are other nations, including Canada, that have imposed sanctions, but you'd have to be deluded to think that they were in any way capable of being meaningful.

But it strikes me as odd that the decision of one nation in 28 would be able to single-handedly decide any foreign policy for the entire EU.

Basically, the choice made by the Slovakian official is either irrelevant or game changing. I'm curious as to which it is.

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