Czech press survey - August 29


29.08.2014 07:28

Prague - Once again, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka and his Social Democrats (CSSD) might be spared the dilemma of whether to side with the European Socialists or Czech citizens, Martin Zverina says in Lidove noviny (LN) in connection with the upcoming choice of the EU chief of diplomacy.


Premiéír Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří k delegátům Čínského investičního fóra, které bylo zahájeno 28. srpna na Pražském hradě. ČTK Kamaryt Michal

The post is sought by Pole Radoslaw Sikorski and Italian Federica Mogherini.

Mogherini is promoted by the European Socialists, but the main reservation about her is her reputation as a "pro-Putin" politician. For Russia, Italy is the second biggest economic partner among the EU countries, Zverina writes.

The question arises whether Mogherini, if elected, would be Italy´s promoter rather than EU representative, Zverina writes.

The Czech government will be spared the Sikorsky versus Mogherini dilemma if Poland´s Donald Tusk becomes the "EU president." This manoeuvre would enable Prague to have its cake and eat it at the same time, Zverina writes.

The question of whether the CSSD tends to fulfil the European Socialists´ dreams rather than Czech interests will remain unanswered, Zverina writes.

Let´s hope that the new Ms.Ashton will be as insignificant as the outgoing one, he concludes.

The Czech Republic should admit that it is not strong enough to rebuke China over human rights, Zbynek Petracek writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny, commenting on the two-day Czech-Chinese Investment Forum that started in Prague on Thursday.

The times when Czechs approached China as a less developed country are over, as are the times when the Tiananmen Square, Tibet and political prisoners were obligatorily mentioned within the Czech-Chinese debate, Petracek writes.

The human rights issue has dwindled out from the debate since, but it would be unfair to reproach the Czech government for it and give Prague´s critical approach under Vaclav Havel as an example to follow, Petracek writes.

China´s position has really strengthened since. At present, only the U.S. president can dare criticise its human rights situation, though cautiously, as the USA is the biggest debtor of China, Petracek writes.

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka was right when he pointed to the importance of bilateral discussion, including on human rights, on Thursday. Nevertheless, the human rights issue should be a part of the political agenda rather than investment forums, where the Czech "ritual" mentions of human rights are meaningless and amount to a ritual self-humiliation, Petracek says.

In Pravo, commentator Alexandr Mitrofanov writes that Vladimir Putin has helped NATO in a way as his series of steps has enabled NATO to realise its raison d´etre and stop hesitating about what its summits should actually focus on.

Czech ambassador to NATO Jiri Sedivy expressed it clearly when he said that the Ukrainian crisis will probably strongly influence the upcoming summit´s debate, Mitrofanov writes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has bet on the "Munich-like" moods of political leaders of some EU countries, Mitrofanov writes, alluding to some countries´ policy of appeasement towards the Nazi Germany in the 1930s, including the 1938 Munich Agreement.

NATO´s attitude seems to be firmer in face of Russia´s direct military intervention in eastern Ukraine, but still its firmness need not be entirely true, Mitrofanov writes.

He refers to the Estonian president´s words that some NATO allies have blocked an enhancement of the central and eastern European states´ security out of consideration for Russia.

If Ukraine were sacrificed, it would be the turn of Czechs next time, Mitrofanov writes, referring to Moscow´s aggression.

NATO must return to its roots. Like in the past, when it defended the West against the aggressive Soviet Union, it must defend it against the aggressive Russia now, Mitrofanov says.

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