President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman in Moscow is a welcomed guest in Moscow where he is referred to with piety as Putin's personal friend. Being a Russian president’s friend means being ready to turn a blind eye to Russian crimes in Ukraine, which, in fact, caused a new "cold war" between the West and the successor of the Soviet Union.
Such comrades are cherished and kept on a special list: among them are municipal deputies from the provincial German town of Quakenbrück, former chancellors, and incumbent presidents. Some are used as "observers" in "referendums" in the occupied Ukrainian territories, while some promote the idea of recognizing Crimea annexation.
Being a Russian president’s friend means being ready to turn a blind eye to Russian crimes in Ukraine
While municipal deputies and former German chancellors, by and large, represent themselves and their conscience gets paid in rubles, the statements of Europe’s current heads of state are truly depressing and pathetic.
The highest-profile representative from this list of Putin’s friends is Comrade Zeman, the president of a country enjoying all the advantages of the free Europe and common market, protected by the NATO umbrella. He seems to be sticking to a “convenient” position to flirt with a Russian bear, pay visits to Russia, and pretend that nothing has happened. The only surprising thing is that this is the stance of a man who was not afraid to openly speak out against the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 and Soviet tanks in the streets of the Czech capital.
It seems that the Czechs should be the last to forget what Russian-style liberation means – that’s when the army of “liberators” simply stays in your territory for many decades. Could have Prague really forgotten that the Czechs paid with their lives for the mere attempt to change their destiny in 1968?
Ironically, it was Czechoslovakia that became the first victim of the policy of appeasing the aggressor back in 1938, becoming effectively absorbed by Nazi Germany. Now the Czech leader offers to recognize the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea, just to make sure "there is no war". Zeman does not hesitate to support the so-called Russian Spring, that’s when the Russian army captured the Crimean peninsula and later went on to build their "Russian world" in Donbas. Because of the Kremlin's ambitions, more than 10,000 Ukrainian citizens were killed, while Zeman continues to joke around, saying that Russians suffer from the lack of Czech cheeses and yogurts, so mutual sanctions must be urgently lifted.
Zeman does not hesitate to support the so-called Russian Spring
Zeman and Putin are having fun, it seems. They go on joking and reflect on whether it is possible to replace this food basket with beer.
Surprisingly, Zeman boasts that Russia is more important for the Czech Republic than France. After all, 140 businessmen came to the Russian capital as part of Zeman’s delegation, while only about a dozen flew to Paris. The only thing the comrade missed out is that within the EU, heads of state don’t need to lobby for their domestic producers – after all, businesses can reach agreements on their own. The president of the Czech Republic did not mention that his country's trade turnover within the EU is more than 80% of all foreign trade, while Russia's share is around a ridiculous 2%.
Zeman says he is a supporter of "economic diplomacy" but the figures say he is seeking a Plan B in case he loses in elections - for example, some post in the Nord Stream project, where Gerhard Schroeder moved from Rosneft recently.
The head of the Czech Republic was so carried away by singing sweet songs about Russia that he even failed to notice how Putin began to threaten the independence and territorial integrity of Zeman’s country. It was stated that some 25% of Czechs understand Russian language. So a simple logic can come to the forefront: in the Czech Republic, Russian language is not declared a state one, and, therefore, "Russian compatriots and Russian-speakers" are discriminated and their rights violated. Isn’t it the reason to deploy Russian occupation troops, the infamous "little green men" to provide for the holding of a referendum in Karlovy Vary?...
The head of the Czech Republic was so carried away by singing sweet songs about Russia that he even failed to notice how Putin began to threaten the independence and territorial integrity of Zeman’s country
Zeman likes to reason that there will be monuments in the Czech Republic to those who fought for his country’s independence. At the same time, for some reason, he denies the right of others to do the same, to fight for their own independence.
However, Zeman is right in one thing: those who fail to remember their own history are doomed to repeat its tragic periods. The only pleasing thing is that not everyone in the Czech Republic is like Zeman.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow