Slovak Prime Minister states that Slovakia is working on helping energy security in Ukraine
February 21 – In a conversation between the Prime Minister of Slovakia and the President of Ukraine, Slovakia guaranteed that they are working on helping Ukraine’s energy security. They also stated that they have created conditions for higher gas supplies, this winter season, through the Budnice interconnection.
Iran sends back ‘US-made” COVID vaccines to Poland
February 22 – Iran decided to return 820,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated to them by Poland because the vaccines had been manufactured in the United States. Mohammad Hasehmi, a healthy ministry official, said that after communication with the Polish ambassador to Iran it was agreed that the vaccines would be sent back and replaced with vaccines from an “authorized source”. This was a reaction from Iran after the Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, stated in 2020 that any British or American vaccines entering the country would be rejected, however, the import of western vaccines from other countries would be accepted.
Increase in cyberattacks on Polish government servers
February 25 – A government official in charge of cyber security in Poland said on Friday that the national system for payment clearing and the computer servers of the government had seen an increase in cyberattacks in recent days. The source of the attacks had not yet been identified by authorities, however, suspicion over the timing was present as the attacks came as Russia pressed a full-scale invasion of Poland’s neighbor Ukraine. The chief executive of Poland’s top power utility PGE SA, however, assured that the attacks were being monitored and that it was too early to determine the source. Many other western governments and companies are on heightened alert against cyberattacks, especially following the announcements of economic sanctions on Russia.
Slovakia’s NATO unit to include 1200 foreign troops and a Patriot missile defense
February 26 – In response to the invasion of Ukraine, a NATO battlegroup is being formed for Slovakia that will include a patriot missile defense manned by Dutch and German personnel, as well as, 1200 foreign troops. Slovakia which shares a border with Ukraine currently has no foreign troops stationed on its territory, but NATO pledged to reinforce its eastern NATO allies and strengthen the eastern border by equipping them. Slovakia will be providing 300 soldiers to the battlegroup too, making a total size of 1500 troops. They have also been in talks with other neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia about providing troops.
Hungary interested in staying out of military conflict with Russia and Ukraine
February 27 – The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban said on Sunday that it is Hungary’s interest to keep itself out of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and that it will not be sending weapons to Ukraine, but it will be helping in other ways such as aiding refugees coming in from its neighboring country. Orban stated that they will continue making decisions that are to Hungary’s interest and will keep them out of the issue but also that “there should not be sanctions for which we have to pay the price in the end, even if we stay out of the conflict”.
Czech Republic joins Sweden and Poland in refusal to play Russia in the 2022 World Cup Playoffs
February 27 – In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Republic has joined its other fellow European countries in refusing to play against Russia in the upcoming 2022 World Cup. The executive committee of the Czech soccer association said that they have unanimously approved the decision that the national Czech team will not play Russia in any case. The football associations of the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Poland also urged FIFA to stage any World Cup playoff against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. FIFA responded by saying it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates in “due course”.