The local council of Prague’s western Řeporyje district has unanimously voted in favour of building a memorial to the Russian Liberation Army troops that helped fight Nazi forces during the Prague Uprising in May 1945. The vote was preceded by a heated confrontation between the district’s mayor and representatives of the Russian federation about the historical legacy of the troops often referred to in Czech as “Vlasovci”.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Czech ambassadors abroad this week
are hosting breakfast meetings with human rights and democracy campaigners
to honour a famous French gesture of support for Czechoslovak dissidents
The meetings commemorate a famous breakfast at Prague’s Embassy in Paris on December 9, 1988, when then French president François Mitterrand held talks with Czechoslovak dissidents in a significant gesture of support.
Mitterrand had invited dissidents and Charter 77 signatories, including Václav Havel, to the French embassy for the meeting during a visit to Czechoslovakia earlier that year.
The French president’s visit helped spur the Czechoslovak regime to grant official permission for an opposition rally to be held on Human Rights Day on December 10, 1988 in Prague's Žižkov district.
Prague City Hall councillors have agreed is conclude a Free Cities Pact
with the other Visegrad Four group capitals aimed at strengthening
The mayors of Prague, Budapest, Bratislava and Warsaw agreed to create the pact on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Free Cities Pact calls on signatories to work together to tackle problems such as climate change, housing and social policy, and to promote democratic ideals, human rights, and the rule of law.
Representatives of the V4 capitals are due to sign the pact on December 16 in Hungary. Prague also wants to sign a sister city pact with Vienna, concerning mainly transport, housing and ecological issues.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Thursday praised Ukraine for
taking steps to resolve the conflict in the east of the country against
pro-Russian separatists on the basis of the Minsk Agreement.
Speaking on the margins of an OSCE conference in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, he said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had taken positive unilateral steps to open the door to advancing peace talks, including withdrawing heavy weapons from the region.
Petříček’s counterpart, Vadym Prystaiko, plans to make an official visit to the Czech Republic in early February 2020, when the speakers of the countries’ parliaments are also expected to make bilateral visits.
The foreign ministers also discussed the holding of the first meeting of the Czech-Ukrainian expert forum and the ninth meeting of the Czech- Ukrainian intergovernmental commission on economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation.
The Czech Republic will increase its contribution to the NATO budget by
about ten percent as of next year, the CTK news agency reported, citing
defence ministry sources.
The country is currently contributing 580 million crowns and should pay around 620 million as of 2020.
NATO member states agreed to increase their individual contributions after the US, which had been contributing the lion’s share for years, announced it would be lowering its input.
The funding of the alliance and defence spending will be the main focus of an upcoming NATO summit in London next week.
The Czech Republic will be represented by President Miloš Zeman, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar and Czech Ambassador to NATO Jakub Landovský.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says administrative mistakes were the reason
why a Czech delegation led by Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman was
denied permission to fly from Moscow to Kazan this week.
The Czech delegation, which was to meet with Tatarstan officials and business leaders, cancelled the visit after waiting ten hours at Moscow airport and flew back to Prague.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Czech delegation had failed to comply with the customs regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union, adding that this was not the first time such problems had arisen.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has accepted the explanation saying he would initiate talks with the Russian side to make sure such problems do not reoccur.
He added however that, with a bit of goodwill on the Russian side, the administrative hurdle could have been overcome.
This week’s release of the Czech Security Information Service’s (BIS) annual report was widely covered by Czech media and even some foreign outlets. What stood out was the considerable amount of detail that the public version contained on Russian and Chinese spying operations in the country last year. So what are these two states up to? And what are their reasons?
Czech Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman has prematurely ended his
five-day visit to Russia, the daily e15 reported on Thursday. Mr Toman, who
was accompanied by a delegation of Czech entrepreneurs, was supposed to fly
from Moscow to Kazan on Wednesday, but the Russian authorities prevented
him from doing so.
Mr Toman told the daily he was alarmed by the attitude of the Russian side, adding that it raised the question whether Russia was genuinely interested in cooperation with the Czech Republic.
Czech-Russian relations have been strained by a number of incidents in recent months, including the renting out of flats intended for Russian diplomats and the decision of Prague 6 to remove from its premises a statue of the controversial Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, visited Ukraine on Tuesday. After
attending the launch of a Czech-Ukrainian enterprise forum, Mr. Babiš held
talks with the country’s prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk. Following
both engagements in Kiev he reiterated the Czech Republic’s support for
the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
Mr. Babiš later told Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Czech Republic condemned Russian aggression in the east of the country and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The Czech leader also invited Mr. Zelensky to a meeting of the Visegrad Four in Prague.
The Czech Republic’s minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, bestowed Medals of Merit for Diplomacy on 12 individuals on Monday. Nine of them, including the late Jiří Dientsbier, the country’s first post-communist foreign minister, received the honour for helping advance diplomacy and foreign policy in the period since the Velvet Revolution.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”