Czech press survey - March 21


21.03.2014 07:38

Prague - Russia poses a threat to the Czech Republic but Czechs should more fear domestic traitors since all occupants need "a fifth column," Karel Steigerwald writes in the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Tiskař kontroluje rotačku novin, tiskárna - ilustrační foto ČTK ČTK

Russians would have never succeeded in occupying foreign countries without having "fifth columns" to rely on in them, Steigerwald says.

In this respect, he reminds of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Steigerwald points out that both Czech ultra-right and ultra- left adherents look up at Russian President Vladimir Putin now.

"They admire this man for having introduced order, which is another important term of extremism," Steigerwald writes.

An imperialist is blind on a foreign territory without "a fifth column," a group of traitors writing "invitation letters" to invaders, simulating suffering and stirring up squabbles to justify a military invasion with the aim "to protect them," Steigerwald writes in MfD.

The EU must at least prepare some protective measures if it is unable to impose hard sanctions on Russia as it thereby opens the path to Vladimir Putin´s further power attempts, Daniel Anyz writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

He recalls that Russian parliament will complete the process of Crimea´s annexation to the Russian Federation today but the summit in Brussels will end without an agreement on painful sanctions against Russia.

The EU will thus recognise that Crimea is Russian, Anyz writes.

An important question is now whether Putin has already fulfilled his plans or whether he will continue further in Ukraine, Anyz says.

Nevertheless, the EU countries´ leaders, including Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka, view the whole situation through a prism of their domestic economic interests in Russia, Anyz writes.

He says that Europe should listen to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen´s warning of Putin´s further expansion.

Europe must perceive the Ukrainian crisis as the awakening into a new era of relations with Russia and it must try to remove as many potential pressures Russian can exert on it, for instance, in the energy security, area, as possible, Anyz concludes.

The current dispute between the West and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis evokes the Cold War era and it can influence the Kremlin´s steps in Syria, Petr Pesek indicates in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He writes that Iran and Syria, where Russians (along with China) complicate the West´s cautious effort to apply some more radical solutions, may serve as a laboratory where another experiment in the Cold War spirit is underway.

Pesek says it is apparent in Damascus that Moscow primarily wants to keep Syrian leader Bashar Asad in power not to lose its military base in the Middle East.

It cannot be ruled out that the strategic tug-of-war in the style of the Cold War will become stronger now. On the other hand, so far Russians have never been clear allies of Syria, Iran and other countries, Pesek writes in conclusion.

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