Czech press survey - May 14


14.05.2014 08:00

Prague - The statement by Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) that he does not support a possible stationing of foreign NATO troops in the country perfectly shows how top politics should not be done, Zbynek Petracek writes in the daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Ministr obrany Martin Stropnický přichází na zasedání vlády, které se uskutečnilo 28. dubna v Praze. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

In an interview with Reuters news agency on Monday, Stropnicky argued with Czechs´ sensitivity abut foreign troops in the country due to the 1968 Soviet invasion of the former Czechoslovakia, Petracek recalls.

Does Stropnicky really mean it? he asks.

He says to compare NATO troops with the Soviet occupation of in 1968, which Stropnicky did, is "stupid and mean."

Petracek recalls that former president Vaclav Klaus used the same argument when he stood up against the plan to build an anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic a few years ago.

However, now this argument is pronounced by a politician from the camp that intended to "sweep out" the past political elites represented by Klaus, calling them the "Matrix," which is really striking, Petracek indicates.

Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky has joined the side of admirers of the previous Soviet Union who are opposed to the USA and NATO as its prolonged hand, to whom he probably did not want to belong, by his clumsy statements, Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.

Stropnicky himself probably does not know what has led him to compare NATO troops with the Soviet-led occupation army, Steigerwald adds.

The Czech defence minister has thereby surprisingly got entangled in "Russophilia," which a part of the Czech political scene still follows.

However, even he knows when NATO troops can be in our country: as soon as our democracy is threaten by an aggressor. Today it has already been apparent who it may be," Steigerwald concludes in MfD.

Russia needs chaos and a permanent tension in Ukraine, Martin Ehl writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, commenting on the Ukrainian crisis.

He says it is hard to estimate the future developments in Ukraine in the flooding of misinformation and distorted facts.

Yet one thing is clear - a significant date on which the developments depend is May 25 when the presidential election is held in Ukraine, Ehl adds.

Russia will most probably push through Ukraine´s federalisation. The annexation of its eastern regions would not be advantageous for Moscow as it would by too costly due to the payment of pensions and keeping the order, Ehl notes.

The West will primarily try to help the Ukrainian authorities to organise the presidential polls in the best possible way.

However, Europe should also change the way of thinking about its cooperation with Kiev, Ehl points out, adding that the current crisis has been the most serious one since 1989.

No matter how the Ukrainian crisis ends, it will have a similar impact on Europe as the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, Ehl concludes.

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