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Trump Warsaw visit will widen intra-European rifts

Monday, July 10, 2017

Significance

Poland is looking to forge closer ties with Washington to establish its leadership in CEE, counterbalance Franco-German dominance of the EU and present a united front against Russia. Other CEE countries are looking elsewhere for allies, as Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to Hungary demonstrates.

Impacts

  • Germany and Austria will move to maintain influence in CEE, probably through partnering with the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Russia will work to avoid any threat to its natural gas monopoly in CEE, with Bulgaria and Hungary its levers of influence.
  • Trump will point to gas and arms exports to Poland as a US foreign policy success, though US hawks will remain sceptical about Russia.
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