Civic Democrats: Czech left wing underestimates Russia's ambitions

21-08-2009

Civic Democrat senator and former deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra has said the Czech political left underestimates Russia’s efforts to exercise its influence in Central Europe, including the Czech Republic. Speaking on the 41st anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia on Friday, Mr Vondra said the occasion raised questions whether Social Democrat chairman Jiří Paroubek and his deputy Lubomír Zaorálek would like to return the Czech Republic to the Russian sphere of influence. Mr Vondra and Civic Democrat deputy Marek Benda again criticised Mr Paroubek's trip to Moscow in June where he held talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin without consulting the Czech embassy.