Czech president Miloš Zeman is set to meet with former Russian president
Mikhail Gorbachev during his visit to Russia in the second half of
November, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said at a press conference on
Tuesday. He will also meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medveded.
The Czech head of state is scheduled to start his visit to Russia by meeting his counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Mr Zeman and his delegation will be accompanied by a record strong group of businessmen.
A Russian top politician turned opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow in 2015. Following his murder his daughter Zhanna Nemtsova moved to Germany, where she works as a journalist and runs a foundation named after her father. At the weekend Nemtsova appeared at a packed theatre at the Jihlava documentary festival as part of its Inspiration Forum talks series. Afterwards, she shared her own sources of inspiration.
Heads of state of the V4 countries have expressed their support for the
integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union and
called for accelerating the process during a two-day meeting in Szekszard
in Hungary, which got underway on Friday.
According to the Czech President Miloš Zeman, who attended the summit with his Hungarian, Polish and Slovak counterparts, they have also agreed that there was a risk of spreading radical Islam in Bosnia. The heads of state have also talked about ecology or digitization.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and other members of the government as well as the opposition have condemned Czech President Miloš Zeman’s rejection of EU sanctions against Russia. The head of state told the Council of Europe on Tuesday that, in his view, sanctions were not working and called Russia’s annexation of Crimea “irreversible”.
Russian politicians have welcomed comments made by Czech President Miloš
Zeman on Crimea at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
Czech Television reported. The Czech head of state said Ukraine should seek
financial compensation for the loss of Crimea and called for the lifting of
sanctions against Russia.
The chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, said he welcomed Mr. Zeman’s recognition of the connection between Russia and Crimea as a fait accompli. Mr. Slutsky’s counterpart in the Russian upper house, Konstantin Kosachev, said Mr. Zeman said out loud what other European politicians were thinking.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed indignation at Mr. Zeman’s words, while Czech government members have said his comments were at odd with the country’s official foreign 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.
Czech politicians have joined in the widespread condemnation of the police violence accompanying Catalonia's referendum on independence. Reacting to developments over the weekend they said the Spanish government’s policy in this matter was short-sighted, over the mark and would only strengthen the separatists.