Prime Minister: the Czech Republic should not expel the Russian ambassador now, relations are at a minimum

Prime Minister: the Czech Republic should not expel the Russian ambassador now, relations are at a minimum

Primeér: The Czech Republic should not expel the Russian ambassador now, relations are at minimu

Illustrative photo – A policeman guards the area in front of the building of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Prague in a picture taken on April 18, 2021 after noon. In connection with the information about the involvement of members of the Russian secret service in the incident at the ammunition warehouse in Vrbětice in 2014, 18 employees of the Russian embassy who were identified as members of the Russian secret service will be expelled from the Czech Republic. The night after this information was announced, a group of people smeared ketchup on the wall in front of the embassy.

Ostrava – Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) believes that there is no need to expel the Russian ambassador from the Czech Republic. According to him, diplomatic relations are already at a minimum, and there is no reason to break them off completely. He said this today in Ostrava during a discussion with students in the building of the Faculty of Economics of the Mining University – Technical University of Ostrava. The Baltic states proceeded to expel the Russian ambassador, who at the same time called on their allies to do the same. Fiala also told the students that he personally does not agree with the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games, but according to him, the decisions of sports organizations are autonomous.

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“The Czech Republic has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation at a minimum. I don't think we should cancel them completely. We can think about it, but I don't see the point in it. Some ties must always work. There are many Czech citizens in Russia,” said the Prime Minister . On the contrary, according to him, it is necessary to work on further diplomatic isolation of Russia at all levels. “And in sanctions. We have to look for places through which Russia can still avoid them. There aren't many of them anymore. The point is that Russia does not bypass the sanctions through third countries,” said Fiala.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also 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, said this on Sunday in Czech TV's Otázky Václav Moravec program. The deputy recalled that the Czech Republic had taken 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.

Fiala also stated in a debate with students today that he does not agree with the participation of Russian athletes in Olympic Games, but that sports organizations make decisions autonomously. He said the government had not discussed it. “I personally have an opinion,” said the prime minister. He believes that the participation of Russian athletes would be contrary to the Olympic idea. “They cannot, under any flag, represent the country that started the war conflict. What kind of competition would it be? When a Ukrainian athlete is fighting at the front or cannot train? I am glad that the position of the Czech Olympic Committee is also changing in this regard,” he added .

The National Sports Agency (NSA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed last week with the Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV) that they reject a boycott of the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 if Russian and Belarusian athletes compete there. However, the chairman of the WWTP Jiří Kejval, the head of the NSA Ondřej Šebek and the foreign minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) said at the same time that they do not agree with the participation of Russians and Belarusians under the five circles.