Jiří Rusnok’s caretaker cabinet approved two controversial ambassadorial appointments even before its confidence vote last week, the daily Lidové noviny wrote on Tuesday. According to the paper the cabinet approved a number of ambassadorial appointments in late July including that of former first lady Livia Klausová to Slovakia and that of former astronaut and Communist MEP Vladimír Remek to Russia. Both nominations were at the center of a highly public dispute earlier this year between President Miloš Zeman, who supported them, and then foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who was strongly against the candidates. Because of diplomatic protocol, the government’s approval of the two candidates has not been officially confirmed, ahead of approval by the host countries, but the prime minister indicated that the appointments had been pre-negotiated with Moscow and Bratislava.
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