Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has arrived in Prague for a two-day visit at the invitation of Czech President Václav Klaus. During his stay Mr Medvedev is scheduled to meet President Klaus and later on Thursday Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Topics to be discussed include Russia’s bid for the tender to complete the Temelín nuclear power plant in South Bohemia and other business deals. The Russian President is also expected to open an exhibition of artworks from the Kremlin collections at Prague Castle.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev arrives in Prague on Wednesday at the invitation of Czech President Václav Klaus. His short visit will entail primarily meetings with President Klaus, who is often noted for his warm attitude towards Russia, and later on Thursday with Prime Minister Petr Nečas. There is plenty on the table for discussion among Czech and Russian leaders, namely business deals and Russia’s bid for the tender to complete the Temelín nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. Many of the milestones in the last decade of Czech-Russian relations
The Czech government approved on Wednesday a constitutional bill slightly modifying a section of the border with Austria due to anti-flood and water management measures. The legislation will mean the exchange of some land near the South Moravian towns of Břeclav and Lanžhot with neighbouring Austria. The Czech Republic and Austria agreed on the step on November 3 when the relevant treaty was signed. The government will submit it for ratification to the Czech Parliament. Under the treaty, the border will be now be delineated on the Dyje river. The 24-hectare area is administered by Břeclav and Lanžhot. The acreage to be swapped is the same in Austria and the Czech Republic.
The website Czech Position reports that controversial American lawyer Edward Fagan is filing a lawsuit against the Czech Republic, its finance minister and several other people regarding unpaid bonds issued by the town of Karlovy Vary in 1924. Mr Fagan says the suit, which is to be filed in the US, is based on his having been denied cooperation in verifying whether the state fulfilled its financial liabilities arising from the bonds. He is reportedly also threatening to prevent the state from issuing further bonds. The Finance Ministry rejected Mr Fagan’s 500-million-dollar claim for the bonds, which were sold in the United States. The Czech Finance Ministry says such claims have been barred for years and that Czechoslovak authorities negotiated a memorandum with the bond holders in 1984.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has told his Georgian counterpart, Nika Gilauri, that the Czech Republic supports Georgia’s bid for NATO membership. In a statement likely to irritate the Caucasus country’s northern neighbour, Russia, Mr Nečas told Prime Minister Gilauri that the Czech Republic – like other former Soviet-bloc countries – had had to overcome the same kind of Russian opposition to their joining NATO. Those countries’ membership, he said, contributed to the security and stability of Europe and did not lead to a conflict with Russia. The Russian Federation has long opposed Georgia’s aspiration to join the alliance, primarily because of its numerous border disputes with the country, which led to open military conflict in 2008. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will be visiting the Czech Republic at the beginning of December.
President Vaclav Klaus has written a letter to his Zambian counterpart requesting justice for the three Czechs who are to go on trial for spying. The president expressed the hope that the case would be speedily and justly resolved. He said he was conviced that the three men were innocent of any wrongdoing, and had merely wanted to take home snapshots of an exhibited Czechoslovak plane. The Czech nationals face 25 years in prison for having taken photographs of an old plane displayed outside a military base in Lusaka. The Czech government has sent a special envoy to the country in the hope of assisting their case.
The government-financed humanitarian aid programme Medevac which was set up to help treat children from countries ravaged by war or natural disasters is to be extended to five seriously injured adult Libyans who are in urgent need of medical assistance. The decision was announced by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg on Friday. The patients are to be transported to the Czech Republic on an army plane and are scheduled to arrive on December 12th. Close to 130 child patients have received care in Czech hospitals within the Medevac programme set up in 1993. They were mostly from Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has offered German Chancellor Angela Merkel a public debate on the completion of the Temelín nuclear power plant in south Bohemia. Czech Radio reported that the prime minister had written Chancellor Merkel a letter saying that Czech-German relations and cooperation in the energy sector and beyond would be strengthened by a unified approach to the issue. Mr Nečas is to meet with Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer on Wednesday evening and will discuss how to make the sensitive issue of Temelín as transparent as possible.
A special envoy will be sent to Zambia shortly to help three Czech nationals accused of espionage in the country, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said. The three men aged between 35 and 45 arrived in Zambia as tourists and were detained in mid-October after taking photographs outside an air-force base in the capital Lusaka. The local authorities are holding their passports and the men have to check in once a week at a local police station while awaiting trial. If convicted, they could spend up to 25 years in prison.
General Secretary of the OECD Ángel Gurría says that the Czech government’s reforms are going in the right direction, but still have much to surmount. Mr Gurría visited Prague on Friday and offered the government a list of recommendations for improving the economic situation in the country, among them a number of health care proposals. The OECD recommends decreasing ‘excess capacities’ in hospitals, spending less on medicines and digitalizing medical documentation. The General Secretary also praised the effect of the new Labour Code on the labour market, consumption taxation and the government’s cooperation with its economic council, NERV.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events