Igor Lukes, Professor of International Relations and History at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, gave a November 2, 2018 talk at the Cosmos Club in Washington DC before the American Friends of the Czech Republic.
Lukes delivered a talk entitled “One Hundred Years of Czech Provincialism,” before the group comprised of former United States ambassadors, investors, and personalities with interest in U.S.-Czech relations.
“Despite years of Nazi and communist occupation, the Czech Republic is now a member of NATO and its relations with the United States and other allies in the West are strong,” Lukes said. “It was heartwarming to see General James Mattis observing the Czech Army’s pass-in-review on October 28th. Given the Czech Republic’s geographic location, this is not a small achievement, and it is good to celebrate it.”
Lukes also discussed the implications of a potential Czech Republic withdrawal from the European Union — citing the Temelin project as a litmus test of future developments.
“History teaches that there can be no gray zone in Central Europe. Therefore, the Czech Republic’s withdrawal from the EU would automatically push the country back into the Russian realm. That is what the Kremlin desires,” Lukes said. “A useful litmus test of future developments will be the Temelin project. If it goes to Rosatom, the Czech Republic will have provided Putin with a useful cover and base for operations against NATO, and it should set the red warning lights blinking.”
Igor Lukes writes primarily about Central Europe. His publications deal with the interwar period, the Cold War, and contemporary developments in East Central Europe and Russia. His work has won the support of various other institutions, including Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the Woodrow Wilson Center, IREX, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1997 Lukes won the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching at Boston University.