Czech PM rebukes Russia, says Crimea and Donbas belong to Ukraine

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Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said he supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia during talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk in Kiev.

According to Babiš, his visit to Kiev marks a new beginning of Czech-Ukrainian relations.

The Czech prime minister started his visit to Ukraine by attending the opening ceremony of the Czech-Ukrainian Business Forum where he was accompanied by a delegation of Czech entrepreneurs.

Honcharuk praised Babiš support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine, describing his talks with Babiš as “one of the most productive in recent months.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky also offered words of praise for Babiš position that Crimea and Donbas are part of Ukraine. Zelensky also thanked Babiš for the invitation to the meeting of the Visegrad Group in Prague.

Zelensky also thanked the Czech Government for humanitarian aid and support for schools that were forced to move from the “temporarily occupied territories” in Donbas, as well as offering medical care for Ukrainian soldiers in Czech facilities.

“Ukraine faces issues such as Russian aggression and the Russian annexation of Crimea,” Babiš said at the Ukrainian government office. “I came with a clear message of support to the people of Ukraine. There is no other solution to the conflict in the east of Ukraine than to peacefully restore Ukrainian sovereignty,” 

Babiš added that “the Czech Republic does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea.”

The Czech prime minister also voiced his support for reforms that the country’s new leadership is pursuing, saying that the Czech Republic is closely following the anti-corruption measures taken by the new Ukrainian government. Babiš said the rule of law is extremely important for the development of business.

“We have a comprehensive list of Czech companies which aim to start business activities in Ukraine,” the Prime Minister said at the business forum about the possibilities of Czech exports to the country.

Since 2008, this is the first visit of such a high-level Czech representative in Ukraine.

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