Prague - Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (Social Democrats, CSSD) has defended Russia and President Vladimir Putin´s steps in Ukraine, contrary to the official position of the Czech government, Jan Machacek writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.
V Orlové-Lazech na Dole Karviná se 24. února konalo pravidelné zasedání pracovní skupiny pro řešení hospodářské a sociální situace v Moravskoslezském kraji za účasti ministra průmyslu a obchodu Jana Mládka (na snímku při odchodu po skončení zasedání). ČTK Ožana Jaroslav
He says Mladek told Czech Television (CT) earlier this week that Russia is in a desperate situation as it has been permanently losing positions.
Putin is logically fighting for the last possibility to maintain Russia as a major world player, Machacek quotes Mladek as saying. He adds that Russia badly needs the arms industry in east Ukraine.
But Mladek pointed out that the real aim of the United States is unclear - whether it wants to add Ukraine to NATO, or to completely disintegrate Russia, Machacek notes.
This is how a minister of a NATO member country talks of its key ally, Machacek writes.
Has Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) given complete freedom in interpreting the Ukrainian crisis and the Russian aggression to the other CSSD ministers or even to the government members in general? Machacek asks.
He says it seems as if Sobotka supported the right of Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek´s to express his rather sharp stance, critical of Russia, as well as the right of Mladek to voice his Russophile views.
Machacek asks whether Sobotka actually controls the government or not.
It is pointless that Zaoralek and Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) present relatively principal and sharp views, while Mladek is Putin´s advocate and President Milos Zeman makes completely different statements, Machacek writes.
Zeman calls for free elections in Ukraine and he avoids any resolute criticism of Russia.
Besides, Mladek is greatly mistaken, Machacek points out.
Though the U.S. stance on Russia is more convincing and clearer than the European, the Americans are far from eager to become involved in the developments in Ukraine, Machacek writes.
He says the United States has been tired of playing the role of the world police and of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unlike the EU, the USA is independent from Russia in energy supplies, he adds.
Moreover, the USA would need to cooperate with Russia in the fight against international terrorism, in Syria and in disarmament, Machacek writes.
This crisis is not good for the United States at all, he says.
Russia does not want its atheist ideology to conquer the world anymore and even the Americans know that in this world there is a number of authoritarian regimes that pose a threat for its neighbours, Machacek writes.