Lower house speaker: Government ready to address situation of Ukraine’s Czech community

The Czech government is ready to address the situation of Ukraine’s Czech community, speaker of the lower house Jan Hamáček of the coalition Social Democrats told reporters on Wednesday. Speaking after a meeting with the head of a Czech association in the Zhytomyr region in western Ukraine, Mr Hamáček said the situation was complex and required swift action. Representatives of the Czech community in Ukraine, whose origins go back to the 1860s, have approached Czech authorities requesting assistance with their relocation to the Czech Republic. Earlier this week, the Czech Foreign Ministry said expats could apply for fast-track residency permits; however, Mr Hamáček suggested the government should also provide financial help.