Czech press survey - March 22


22.03.2014 13:24

Prague - The current steps taken over the Ukrainian crisis reflect a tug-of-war between the West and the East, or pure machismo, such as the bilateral imposition of sanctions, Zbynek Petracek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Lidé sledují v krymském Sevastopolu ohňostroj uspořádaný na oslavu připojení Krymu k Ruské federaci. ČTK/AP Andrew Lubimov

The signing of the EU accession agreement with Ukraine quickly after Russia´s annexation of Crimea is unfortunately also one of these symptoms. It was motivated by the effort to show Russian President Vladimir Putin that he cannot intimidate the West, Petracek adds.

The accession agreement was signed before the EU started pondering its new strategy in relation to the aggressive Russia, not to mention its clear strategy towards Ukraine, Petracek points out.

The EU is in an extremely uncomfortable situation, while Putin´s situation is much better. He can say anything openly and express even more indistinctly, Petracek notes.

In this respect re reminds of Russian elite units without military insignia, in other words illegal combatants, arresting Ukrainian military officers, which is at variance with international law.

However, Putin is not interested in such formal details and no one from the West is demanding it from him, Petracek writes in conclusion.

Neither the signing of the EU-Ukraine association agreement nor the derisory sanctions that the EU and the United States have imposed on Russia will change President Vladimir Putin´s plan to annex Crimea to Russia and the West can do nothing but fear, Teodor Marjanovic writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

Moreover, Putin has probably not have his last say. Even if he lets the rest of Ukraine in peace, it is not sure what his next target will be, Marjanovic notes.

Though Putin have demonstrated his coldblooded imperial expansiveness and total brutality for almost 15 years, the West has kept trading with him, inviting him to international institutions and U.S. President Barack Obama has even admitted him to the group solving the Syrian conflict, Marjanovic recalls.

"Putin is a man formed by the totalitarian regime who offers totalitarianism to people with everything that keeps it together: lies, demagogy, corruption, brutality, indoctrination and unfreedom. Let us halt him by arming Ukrainians, installing the U.S. radar, which was being considered a few years ago, and immediately expelling the Russian bidder for the completion of the Temelin nuclear power plant from the country. Let us speak in his tongue," Marjanovic concludes.

Most Czechs are deeply interested in the events in Ukraine and Russia´s annexation of Crimea though some leftist and nationalist deputies try to make another impression, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo today.

He recalls that the latest CVVM poll shows that the situation in Ukraine during the escalating conflict at the turn of February and March has probably been the most closely watched foreign-political event in the Czech Republic in the past ten years.

On the other hand, two senior government Social Democrat (CSSD) MPs claimed in the Chamber of Deputies that Czechs did not care for what is happening in Ukraine and Russia at all, Mitrofanov writes.

He points to the fight in the lower house between the distinctive Foreign Affairs Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) supported by right-wing representatives and his opponents from the Communists (KSCM), the Dawn of Direct Democracy as well as Slavic patriots and national socialists, even if some of them are CSSD members. The latter seemed to dominate the debate in the Chamber of Deputies on Friday.

However, according to the poll, only 12 percent of people would stand by this loud group of MPs, Mitrofanov writes in Pravo.

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