“Echoes of 1968” – Czech politicians denounce Russian aggression against Ukraine

Czech politicians were quick to denounce the aggression against Ukraine on Monday night accusing Russia of violating international law, the Minsk agreements and violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity. Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the Czech Republic strongly supports Ukraine in this crisis. Addressing the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday morning, Fiala said the international community must remain united against this latest Russian aggression.

“We cannot close our eyes to what is happening. Europe is one step away from war. Russia’s recognition of the separatist republics and its military presence in the Donbass is an act of aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law. President Putin’s speech on Monday evening made his ambitions and intentions clear. This attack is not the first and will not be the last. We saw it 14 years ago in Georgia and 8 years ago in Crimea. It would be naive to think that Putin’s efforts to restore influence in the former Soviet Union will stop in eastern Ukraine.

Jan Lipavsky |  Photo: Czech Government Office

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told reporters that the Czech Republic was ready to support any sanctions agreed by the EU. The Czech Foreign Minister announced earlier that the ministry was sending humanitarian aid worth 10 million crowns to Ukraine, and has now added that the government is ready to step up aid to the country depending on his immediate needs.

Reaction to the Russian scenario in Ukraine was particularly strong in the Czech Republic, evoking reminiscences of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, also undertaken under the scenario of “brotherly assistance” from Russia and the need to protect the “socialist order”. ”.

Defense Minister Jana Černochová called Russia’s recognition of the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine an effort to “to restore the Soviet Union at the expense of free and sovereign countries”. The civilized world must never tolerate this; it’s not just Ukraine on Putin’s chessboard, we’re there too,” tweeted the Minister of Defense.

The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, wrote on Twitter that if the Czech Republic was not a member of NATO, it would be threatened in the same way as Ukraine. “It is our duty to support Ukraine in this area” she says.

The opposition ANO party and the Freedom and Direct Democracy party have also denounced the Russian aggression.

And President Miloš Zeman, whose pro-Russian stance is widely known and who recently dismissed the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, broke several days of silence on the Ukraine crisis on Tuesday morning to say – via his spokesman – that the presence of Russian troops in the Donbass increased the risk of a military conflict and diminished hopes for a diplomatic solution.

Berta D. Wells