Czech leaders clash over sanctions against Russia

By on October 11, 2017


Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister, Czech Republic (Photo by EU2017EE Estonian Presidency - Bohuslav Sobotka, CC BY 2.0)
Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister, Czech Republic (Photo by EU2017EE Estonian Presidency – Bohuslav Sobotka, CC BY 2.0)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The Czech Republic’s prime minister has condemned the president’s rejection of European Union sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

President Milos Zeman spoke Tuesday in Strasbourg, repeating his stance against the sanctions by saying they don’t work. Zeman suggested they should be replaced with a dialogue that might result in some compensation for Ukraine from Russia. He also called Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula irreversible.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka responded by saying that Zeman’s speech “was in sharp contradiction of our foreign policy and the president had no mandate to do it.” He said that the sanctions could be lifted only after Russia honoured a 2015 peace deal.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and some other politicians also rejected Zeman’s comments.