Credit: Vlá

Russian Imperial Policy Is Major Security Threat To Czechia – Prime Minister

Photo: Prime Minister Petr Fiala at the cabinet’s meeting on August 16.

Prague, Aug 28 (CTK) – Russia’s imperial policy poses unsurprisingly the biggest security threat to the Czech Republic, but vigilance is also needed face to face with China’s steps, PM Petr Fiala (Civic Democrats, ODS) said at the opening of the Czech ambassadors’ meeting at the Foreign Ministry’s seat today.

He reminded that China was monitoring the conflict in Ukraine also with regard to its own power ambitions.

The prime minister stressed that the Czech Republic must continue providing civilian and military assistance to Ukraine and support its integration into the European Union and NATO, while preparing for the post-war reconstruction of the invaded country.

Fiala also spoke about energy security, saying that one of the key conditions for energy independence of the Czech Republic was a complete switch to US and French fuel for nuclear power plants.

“The chances for a quick resolution of the conflict (war in Ukraine) have proved slim and are getting slimmer. The consequences of Russia’s aggression are multiple and to some extent, they also contribute to a certain degree to the nervousness we feel in our country,” Fiala said.

Russian attempts to re-create the spheres of influence must be stopped, otherwise this will encourage not only the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also other aggressors, he warned.

The Czech Republic must more than ever promote its defence interests, strengthen its allied relations and contribute to mitigating crises in the world, he said.

According to Fiala, the development of the war in recent months shows that the situation is complicated. “There is even the threat of stalemate and the reality of a frozen conflict, according to many analysts. I don’t think this is the only scenario we must pursue, but we must also keep this in mind and think about it in our strategies,” he noted.

The energy policy had to be completely changed, and the most important thing was to end dependence on Russia, the prime minister said. The Czech Republic is almost 100 percent independent of Russian gas, and it will have to get rid of its dependence on Russian oil as well, which requires the completion of the TAL pipeline extension, Fiala said, adding that it should be completed by the end of next year.

Fiala also spoke about the importance of relations with allies, saying that Transatlantic relations were the best in history.

Last year’s Czech EU presidency has helped improve the position of the Czech Republic, he said.

Regarding cooperation in the Visegrad Group, comprised of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, Fiala said it was necessary to focus on practical cooperation at a time when political cooperation was more difficult. He can see a broader Central European dialogue as necessary, for example strategic cooperation with Germany and strengthening relations with Austria, he noted.

The prime minister also said the coordination of the state foreign policy was now much better than in the past. In this respect, he highlighted the change of the president, which had allowed, for example, the resumption of regular meetings of supreme elected officials to debate foreign policy The position of national security adviser, held by Tomas Pojar, is also important, Fiala added.

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) opened the meeting. He will also give a speech later this morning.

Politicians and ambassadors first observed a minute of silence in memory of the four recently deceased diplomats – Martin Povejsil, Katerina Fialkova, Jakub Durr and Monika Studena.

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