Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: The time has not yet come to expel the Russian ambassador

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: The time has not yet come to expel the Russian ambassador

Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: He has not yet spent time to expel Russia he ambassador

Building of the Russian Embassy in Prague (pictured on April 20, 2021).

Prague – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the time has not yet come to expel the Russian ambassador from the Czech Republic. Martin Dvořák, deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), said this today on Czech television in the program Otázky Václav Moravec. The Baltic states proceeded to expel the Russian ambassador, who at the same time called on their allies to do the same.

Advertisement'; }

Dvořák recalled that the Czech Republic took one of the most drastic measures against Russian diplomacy in the past, when it significantly reduced the number of Russian diplomats at the Prague embassy. “The matter of expelling the ambassador is so sensitive and of such a heavy caliber that we still feel that the time has not yet come for us to pull out the heaviest weapon,” he said. According to him, Russia can still do such things, which will require a stronger response than how Czech diplomacy has reacted so far. Even former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) would not agree to expel the ambassador.

Dvořák admitted in the debate that the “sealing” of holes in the anti-Russian sanctions could have been faster in Europe. For example, he pointed to one of the Transcaucasian countries neighboring Russia, with which Czech foreign trade has doubled over the past year. He did not rule out that this happened due to the circumvention of sanctions. He did not want to disclose the name of the country. He pointed out that companies that are used to doing business in those regions are at the same time used to cheating, circumventing the rules and bribing. “We probably won't be able to avoid this unless there is the will of the respective governments, and it probably doesn't exist,” he said. However, he denied that the sanctions would not work.

In the program, Zaorálek criticized the fact that the elected president Petr Pavel cooperates externally with the former ambassador Petr Kolář. He is bothered by his work for the American law firm Squire Patton Boggs, which, according to him, in the past, for example, helped Russia's Gazprombank circumvent sanctions. Referring to his personal experience with Kolář and his opinions, Dvořák rejected fears that Kolář would “drag the Czech Republic back to Russia and China” through Pavel.

The Seznam Zprávy server stated on Friday that Pavlov the Czech ambassador to the EU, Jaroslav Zajíček, was supposed to help in the “important diplomatic post” in the presidential office. According to Czech Television, Zajíček will become the director of the foreign department of the presidential office, and the ambassador to Belarus, Tomáš Pernický, is headed for the post of protocol director. Dvořák refused to confirm or deny it. He said that “negotiations on the use of some Czech diplomats” in Pavel's office continue and are nearing completion.