Final Word from Tuesday, March 27, 2018

If he were still PM, Bohuslav Sobotka probably would have expelled just one or two Russian diplomats, because that would be enough to show symbolic solidarity with the U.K. without hampering operations at the embassy in Moscow. Andrej Babiš expelled three, which is so many that no one can criticize him for being soft on Russia. (Well, okay, Teodor Marjanovič of HN did.) It's also so many that Babiš can easily be accused of bending too low to Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris. Babiš craves international acceptance, partly because of his ego, but also because of the way this helps him domestically. If Babiš is a team player internationally, the EU has less of an incentive to examine his conflicts of interest and potential criminal activity at home. In this way he's very much like Sobotka, who learned early in his path to the premiership that if he says the right things while looking West, his role at ČEZ, OKD, MUS, etc., will be conveniently overlooked. [Czech Republic Novichok Skripal expulsion]

Glossary of difficult words

to hamper - to hinder or impede the movement or progress of;

to be soft on - (politically) to have a policy that is not forceful enough;

to crave - feel a powerful desire for (something).

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