Czech Senate speaker cancels Moscow visit on Crimea threats

Aktuálně.cz Aktuálně.cz, Ivan Eckhardt
7. 3. 2014 10:27
Czech Senate Speaker says he postponed his planned visit to Russia after West started to talk about sanctions and Russia about seizing Western property
Russian soldiers in Crimea
Russian soldiers in Crimea | Foto: Reuters

Prague - Czech Senate Speaker Milan Stech will not visit Moscow in mid-March as previously planned. “Yesterday I decided to postpone my trip to the Russian Federation. The last straw was when one side started to speak about sanctions and the other about seizing property,” Stech told Aktualne.cz

In an official letter to the Russian side, Stech wrote that it would be “impossible to discuss the development of bilateral relations in a good atmosphere.” Stech consulted his position with PM Bohuslav Sobotka, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, and lower chamber speaker Jan Hamacek, all of them his fellow Social Democrat (CSSD) members.

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The Czech Senate foreign committee condemned the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, even though some committee members were in favor of adopting a more moderate position.

Earlier this week, Stech compared the present situation in Crimea to Czechoslovakia before World War Two, where many members of the country's German minority called for unification with Nazi Germany.

Czech President Milos Zeman said earlier this week that Western sanctions on Russia would not produce any “sensible outcome” and the situation in Ukraine should be resolved by presidential and parliamentary elections.

No square can decide on the government, regardless if it is the Maidan, square in Lviv, or on the contrary a square in Donetsk. Let a majority of Ukrainians elect their political representation,” said Zeman.

Former President Vaclav Klaus said that Western Europe and the USA have contributed to the Ukrainian crisis by giving support to anti-government manifestations.

I think the situation is very serious and is threatening the security not only in Ukraine but also in Central and Eastern Europe. According to me, it is the biggest crisis since the Cold War,” Jan Zahradil, a member of the European Parliament for the opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), told Aktualne.cz.

On Thursday, a Czech military plane transported eleven Ukrainians who were seriously injured during recent protests to Prague for medical treatment. Most of them have gunshot wounds.

It February, 27 injured Ukrainians were transferred to the Czech Republic by two military planes. The project is coordinated by People in Need, a Czech human rights NGO, with assistance from the Czech embassy in Kiev.

Two Czech officials also take part in the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Crimea.

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Zdroj: ČTK
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