The Czech Republic will increase its contribution to the NATO budget by
about ten percent as of next year, the CTK news agency reported, citing
defence ministry sources.
The country is currently contributing 580 million crowns and should pay around 620 million as of 2020.
NATO member states agreed to increase their individual contributions after the US, which had been contributing the lion’s share for years, announced it would be lowering its input.
The funding of the alliance and defence spending will be the main focus of an upcoming NATO summit in London next week.
The Czech Republic will be represented by President Miloš Zeman, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar and Czech Ambassador to NATO Jakub Landovský.
Senate chair Jaroslav Kubera has dismissed comments from President Milos
Zeman regarding his planned trip to Taiwan next year as a message directed
not to him but to the Chinese authorities.
President Zeman said in an interview for TV Barrandov on Thursday that should Senator Kubera travel to Taiwan it would impact their „relatively good“ relationship.
Senator Kubera said earlier he would be going to Taiwan on a trade mission. The Senator was previously criticized by China for attending a reception at the Representative Office of Taiwan in Prague, and responded by saying China must get used to the fact that the Czech Republic was a sovereign state which would not be pushed around.
Leaders of opposition parties in the Chamber of Deputies praised the work
of the BIS counterintelligence service after it released a report
highlighting the activities of disseminators of pro-Russian disinformation
in the Czech Republic.
The head of the Mayors and Independents group, Jan Farský, said, however, that the work of the counterintelligence was being complicated by President Miloš Zeman, who has repeatedly refused to promote BIS chief Michal Koudelka to the rank of general.
Mr. Zeman’s spokesperson, Jiří Ovčáček, said it was wrong of BIS to dub those with alternative outlooks as peddlers of disinformation. He said this was an attack on free speech.
Czech presidential elections are still three years away, provided Miloš Zeman finishes his second term. But candidates hoping to succeed him should already start building their “brand” at least two years before voters head to the ballot box, experts say. A new poll sheds light on the qualities Czechs want in their next head of state.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should focus on fighting
international terrorism, the main, if not only, enemy of civilised states,
Czech President Miloš Zeman said at a meeting of Czech heads of military
command on Wednesday. He and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar also said
they were against a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Czech president also mentioned the recent remark by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who said in a recent interview with the Economist magazine that NATO was in a state of "brain death". Mr. Zeman said that “if NATO is not to be in a state of brain death, it should become more offensive and realise what its real role in the current world is.”
Czech president Miloš Zeman and his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Čaputová
opened the Czech House in Bratislava on Saturday, which will house a Czech
Centre as well as CzechTrade, CzechTourism and CzechInvest offices. Mr.
Zeman said that he sees it as the fulfillment of his dream.
The event was preceeded by a symbolic laying of wreaths by the Comenius University in the Slovak capital, where student demostrations for democracy took place on November 16, 1989.
Czech President Miloš Zeman and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček will
travel to Berlin on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of
the Berlin Wall.
On the eve of the festivities, President Zeman will meet with the former
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former European Commissioner
On Saturday, the Czech head of state, along with his Visegrad Four counterparts, will be received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Together they will attend the main commemorative event at the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček will represent the Czech Republic at the festivities at the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday evening.
The Office of the President invited pro-Russian activists from the Crimean
Tatar group Kyrym birligi (Crimean Unity) to an event at Prague Castle on
Monday marking the anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia, news
site DeníkN reported. The activists later wrote on Facebook that President
Miloš Zeman had recognised the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of
Crimea as being part of Russia.
Mr. Zeman’s spokesman did not deny the activists had been asked to the event but said the president continued to regard the annexation of Crimea as unlawful.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Prague criticised the invitation of the activists to Prague Castle. The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, told DeníkN he would not invite them to events organised by his office.
In line with tradition, President Miloš Zeman appointed new army and
police generals at Prague Castle on the anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s
Among those raised to the highest rank were the head of the General Inspectorate of the Security Forces Radim Dragoun, Commander of the Cyber Force and Information Operations Miroslav Feix and the head of the Military History Institute Aleš Knížek.
The president once again rejected the prime minister’s proposal to raise the head of the country’s counter-intelligence service BIS Michal Koudelka to the rank of general.
The president has been highly critical of the work of the counter-intelligence service. In a recent interview on commercial TV Barrandov, President Zeman said the BIS director should focus on real economic crime in the Czech Republic rather than engaging in a “fictitious hunt for Russian and Chinese spies”.