‘Let’s not create enemies!’ – Former Czech President tells government to stay out of conflict in Ukraine

Vaclav Klaus, A former Czech prime minister and president, speaks at a conference inaugurating a conservative new university in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, May 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Lucie Ctverakova
4 Min Read

Former Czech President Václav Klaus has penned a letter to Prime Minister Petr Fiala requesting that the government ends its “incomprehensible passivity” in Ukraine’s affairs, it has emerged.

According to him, Czechia has to engage in negotiations to find security guarantees for all sides involved.

Klaus further demanded responsible and dignified behavior of the government and rejected attempts to involve Czechia in the military escalation of the conflict or the search for a “single correct opinion” on the matter. He also wrote that the fears of the Russians are legitimate and without Russia, the conflict will not be resolved.

Klaus described the situation as “unsustainable and extremely dangerous for all,” and considers it “the greatest long-term security threat” in Europe. He likened the escalating conflict to “state-of-the-art weapons games” and stressed that it was not a computer game. According to the former president, a possible conflict would also affect the Czech Republic, even though the country does not “admit” the imminent danger.

Klaus stated that in the current dispute, Russia is pursuing its interests, which are different to the interests of others.

“Its fears are legitimate and need to be taken seriously. Without Russia, or at its expense, the current conflict cannot be resolved,” Václav Klaus noted, who also claimed that he considers the current situation to be primarily a duel between the United States and Russia.

Ukraine would pay high price for a war

“The biggest victim of the situation today and every day is and will be Ukraine itself,” Klaus explained.

“The war in the territory of the Ukrainians is not and can not be in their interest. The Ukrainians would pay for the war between Ukraine (represented by the United States) and Russia on Ukrainian territory with another deep economic upheaval, social destabilization, and a total loss of independence,” he added.

“It is unwise to recklessly rely on a presumption that in a tense situation or an unguarded moment, a mistake could not be made in such games,” the former Czech president warned, highlighting that any errors in diplomacy could spark an “unmanageable development” that would be difficult to stop.

“This would not be the first time in history,” he noted.

Klaus then turned to the actions of the current government amid the crisis, and told Prime Minister Petr Fiala that Czechs cannot wait any longer and should not remain silent on the conflict.

“There have been enough political outbursts, spreading panic, and pouring oil into the fire. We reject attempts to involve the Czech Republic in the military escalation of the conflict, to supply it with weapons, to contribute to escalating tensions, as well as to abuse the conflict around Ukraine in domestic struggle and to create an atmosphere in which only one ‘right’ view is allowed. Let’s not make enemies of those who have a different opinion,” Klaus warned.

Lastly, he called on the prime minister to ensure that the members of the government act “responsibly and with dignity” regarding the Ukrainian-Russian situation, urging Fiala to focus on compliance with the Minsk agreements and to negotiate security guarantees for all parties to the conflict.

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