Czech president Miloš Zeman is in Russia on a five-day official state visit, taking in Sochi, Moscow and Yekaterinburg. He is accompanied by a 130-strong delegation of representing Czech businesses hoping to sign energy and transportation-related contracts worth 20 billion crowns. The visit has fuelled further criticism that the president is charting a separate “pro-Russian” foreign policy at odds with the official position of the Czech government. Dr. Mark Galeotti is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague. I began
A Russian top politician turned opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow in 2015. Following his murder his daughter Zhanna Nemtsova moved to Germany, where she works as a journalist and runs a foundation named after her father. At the weekend Nemtsova appeared at a packed theatre at the Jihlava documentary festival as part of its Inspiration Forum talks series. Afterwards, she shared her own sources of inspiration.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and other members of the government as well as the opposition have condemned Czech President Miloš Zeman’s rejection of EU sanctions against Russia. The head of state told the Council of Europe on Tuesday that, in his view, sanctions were not working and called Russia’s annexation of Crimea “irreversible”.
Czech politicians have joined in the widespread condemnation of the police violence accompanying Catalonia's referendum on independence. Reacting to developments over the weekend they said the Spanish government’s policy in this matter was short-sighted, over the mark and would only strengthen the separatists.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Prague earlier this week on the first stop of a tour of European capitals to explain the British position on Brexit outlined by Prime Minister Teresa May in Florence. In an interview for Czech Radio the British foreign secretary spoke about his country’s aims and priorities in the two-year transitional period ahead as well as after the Brexit cut-off line. Czech Radio’s London former correspondent Jiří Hošek began by asking him how he views the outcome of Germany’s parliamentary elections.
There’s little doubt that the European Union has gone through a lot of turbulence over the past few years and has scrambled to come up with new policies as a result. But the outgoing Czech prime minister believes it has boosted the country’s reputation in these difficult times and cast itself as a reliable and steady partner.