Commentary Legislation

Zeman condemns Russian bill

Czech President Miloš Zeman has condemned the Russian bill which will give war veteran status to troops from the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and invited Russian Ambassador Alexander Zmeyevskiy to Prague Castle to explain it.

Earlier this week, the Czech Foreign Ministry objected to the Russian proposal, recalling that the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the troops of the five Warsaw Pact states, led by the Soviet Army, was contrary to international law and the will of Czechoslovakian citizens.

Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Twitter that the President invited Russian Ambassador Zmeyevskiy to Prague Castle on Thursday, June 13th. Zeman "will ask Zmeyevskiy for an explanation on the proposal of the Russian federal law, which grants war veteran status to those who participated in the Czechoslovak occupation in 1968," said Ovčáček.

The Chamber of Deputies also discussed the Russian proposal, and the MPs agreed to condemn it. According to the MPs, Russia has the ambition to rewrite and falsify history. For example, in its resolution, the Chamber of Deputies fundamentally rejects the proposed rationale for the amendment, which states that the Warsaw Pact troops had the right to enter the territory of Czechoslovakia on August 21st, 1968 relating to the tasks of suppressing the so-called coup attempt in Czechoslovakia.

According to the Chamber of Deputies as well as the Foreign Ministry, the adoption of the Russian law would mean a serious breach of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation signed between the Czech Republic and Russia in 1993.

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