Final Word from Wednesday, April 26, 2023

One day after PM Petr Fiala met in Astana with Kazakhstan's president and PM and spoke at the Kazakhstan-Czech Business Forum, STAN's leadership approved the nomination of Dep. Foreign Min. Martin Dvořák as EU affairs minister. He's a proud buster of sanctions-busters who said on OVM in mid-Feb. that companies active in the post-Soviet region are used to giving bribes, skirting the rules, engaging in fraud and corrupting people. We probably aren't able to avoid this unless the local governments are willing to confront it, he said, and they probably aren't. While in Astana Fiala took great pride in bilateral trade last year with Kazakhstan of $1.3bn. Czech exports to there rose y/y by 224%, but apparently mainly because of reexports to Russia. Dvořák wants to use secondary sanctions to nip this type of business in the bud. He could end up doing the same thing for trade with Kazakhstan and the other Stans that his STAN colleague Jozef Síkela has done for energy trade with Russia. [ Czech Republic USSR Caucasus Otázky Václav Moravce Czech TV Televison Václav Moravec ]

Glossary of difficult words

to bust - to catch someone in the act of doing something wrong;

sanctions-busting - the act of trading with a country with which trade is not officially allowed;

to skirt (rules) - to go around;

secondary sanctions - sanctions designed to prevent third parties from trading with countries subject to sanctions issued by another country;

to nip in the bud - to stop (something) immediately so that it does not become a worse problem.

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