Czech press survey - April 17


17.04.2014 07:28

Prague - Moscow's insistence on Ukraine's federalisation is only a sort of stick it started using after its carrot in the form of a soft loan and lower prices of gas for Ukraine failed, Milan Slezak writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN).


Lidé blokují kolunu ukrajinkých obrněných vozidel na její cestě do města Kramatorsk. ČTK/AP Evgeniy Maloletka

When asking Moscow to specify what it means under the notion of federalised Ukraine, its answer was truly bizarre, Slezak writes.

Every part of the federal state should have its own constitution and an economic system, but this is no road to a stable federalised state, but to a poorly working confederation in which the dominant influence of the strong neighbour would be pervasive, he adds.

The way Russia will behave in the face of the eastern Ukrainian storm will be also a good lesson for the Czech Republic. So far, one could take the lesson that agreements and pacts are only valid for Russia as long as they suit it, Slezak writes.

Diversification of Czech energy sources is an urgent necessity, this is another lesson, he adds.

Zdenek Hazdra, newly elected director of the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR), is likely to be the last head of the institution, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

This is the view on which many observers from both the expert sphere and general public agree, Zverina writes.

Social Democrats (CSSD) were for abolition of the institute since the beginning as it only hampered their planned alliance with the Communists (KSCM) whose ugly past the institute permanently highlights, he adds.

The institute's budget will be certainly a tempting sum to be cut, while a part of the institute will be merged with some academic institution and the people will be told how much money "was saved," Zverina writes.

Hazdra has small, if any backing among his colleagues, researchers and historians, working both inside and outside the institute, Ludek Navara writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

The USTR council members, elected by the leftist majority in the Senate, have repeatedly made it clear that they want to push the institute to a different direction: it should examine less the repressive forces, preferring day-to-day life under the totalitarian regime, Navara writes.

However, they do not realise that there are other institutions for this purpose existing for a long time, he adds.

Perhaps they want to downplay the crimes of the Communist regime. Hence the question: In whose interest? Navara asks.

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