Prague - Russia should be excluded from the tender to expand Czech nuclear power plant Temelin, said Czech Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier in an interview with Aktualne.cz about Moscow's ongoing involvement in the Crimea crisis.
"Personally, I cannot imagine that the Russians will continue to participate in the tender to complete Temelin, because a country that uses military aggression in foreign policy is a security risk also for the Czech Republic," said the Social Democrat (CSSD) minister, adding that it is only his opinion and that the government has not discussed the idea.
The tender to build two new reactors at the Temelin power plant, operated by Czech semi-state energy giant CEZ, is estimated to be worth about EUR 11 billion. There are two bidders for the lucrative public contract: Russian-Czech consortium MIR.1200, controlled by Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom, and Japanese-American company Westinghouse. France's Areva, a third bidder, was excluded from the tender in October 2012.
Foreign Minister: "Anybody can become Russia's next victim"
"The position of the (Czech) government is that Russia should return to diplomacy and stop the military aggression against a neighboring country. Because the Czech government maintains a position that military aggression cannot form part of the foreign policy of any country, if we are to consider that country a civilized one," said Dienstbier.
The minister also said that the Czech Republic is actively involved in the issue. "Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek spent a few days in Ukraine, trying to observe the situation and talk to all political forces in Ukraine," said Dienstbier.
Foreign Minister Zaoralek (CSSD) is attending today an emergency meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council about Ukraine. He told Aktualne.cz that the meeting's purpose is to reach a common EU position on the issue.
"There is a real danger that we will see military units arriving in different parts of Europe and occupying the territory of sovereign countries only because, for example, somebody in Moscow gets the impression that Russian citizens are under threat. As we have heard from the Russian side, Russia is prepared to defend the interests of its citizens anywhere in Europe. So tomorrow, anybody could become the next victim," said Zaoralek.
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