Sobotka: Zeman statements on Crimea contradict Czech policy

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says statements made by President Miloš Zeman at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe contradict Czech foreign policy. Mr. Zeman questioned the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia and said Ukraine should seek financial compensation from Moscow for the annexation of Crimea, which he called a fait accompli.

Mr. Sobotka said, however, that the Czech Republic defended respect for international law and that the sanctions against Russia were linked to the fulfilling of the Minsk accords.

The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, also said that Mr. Zeman was going against the country’s foreign policy. Changing borders and breaching international agreements were not something that Prague could not respond to, he said.