Russian deputy PM in Prague meets with senior officials


Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zhukov is in Prague for talks with senior Czech officials, including President Václav Klaus, Defence Minister Martin Barták and Senate chairman Přemysl Sobotka. Earlier, his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer focussed on economic ties, discussing the energy sector, investment, as well as cooperation on scientific research. Business between the two countries in 2008 was worth around 13 billion US dollars. Nevertheless, Mr Zhukov’s visit comes at a time of heightened tension between Russia and the Czech Republic: two Russian diplomats were expelled from the Czech Republic last month on the suspicion of spying. Another issue dividing Prague and Moscow is America’s plan to build a radar base in central Bohemia – part of a broader anti-missile shield in Europe.