Final Word from Thursday, January 3, 2019

What happens to the cozy relationship between Miloš Zeman and Andrej Babiš if Zeman gets snubbed by the White House and Babiš is instead the one who visits Donald Trump in 2019? In an unusual public statement in early Dec. that went mostly unnoticed, U.S. Amb. Stephen King said that with Trump's election campaign under suspicion of having colluded with Russia, a White House visit by the Eastern-oriented Zeman would confirm in some people's minds that Trump is tied to Russia. Shortly thereafter, Respekt reported that King had orally invited Babiš twice to visit Washington. Under Trump, the U.S. is even more deal-oriented than usual, and the deals now are military and nuclear. A visit by Babiš would send the signal that he is succumbing to the U.S. charm offensive and taking advantage of Zeman's isolation. The prospect of a U.S.-leaning Czech PM gives opponents of Zeman and Babiš at least a grain of hope that 2019 will be the year of the split. [ Czech Republic United States power Rosatom Westinghouse helicopters defense ]

Glossary of difficult words

correction: one invitation to Washington reportedly came from Amb. King, and one from House Speaker Paul Ryan;

to split - to divide or cause to divide into parts or elements;

to snub - to rebuff, ignore or spurn disdainfully;

to collude - to come to a secret understanding; to conspire;

to succumb - to fail to resist pressure, temptation or some other negative force;

charm offensive - a campaign of flattery, friendliness and cajolement designed to achieve the support or agreement of others;

prospect - the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring.

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