Brussels - The Czech Republic prefers a diplomatic, political solution to the Ukrainian crisis, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) told reporters before an extraordinary EU summit on Ukraine today.
Český premiér Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři 6. března v Bruselu při příjezdu na mimořádný summit EU k Ukrajině. ČTK Dospiva Jakub
Moscow will eventually respect a resolute stance of the international community, the European Union and NATO. In the opposite case, the EU can react in the days and weeks to come, Sobotka added.
"Our position is resolute, but not hysterical. We are prepared to support a clear stance on what is happening in Ukraine and in Crimea," said Sobotka, who attends an EU summit for the first time in his capacity as PM.
He was originally to arrive in Brussels first on March 20 to take part in a regular summit on economic and climate policies.
The Czech Republic is of the view that international law as well as Ukraine´s territorial integrity and independence must be respected, Sobotka pointed out.
Prague is open to a discussion about the EU´s possible measures against Russia in reaction to its steps in Ukraine but it is reserved about the possibility of across-the-board economic sanctions, Sobotka said.
"We suppose that they could harm both sides in consideration of the economic interconnections between Europe and Russia," Sobotka said.
The EU member states´ leaders are meeting at an informal luncheon to discuss the European reaction to the Russian military intervention in Crimea.
The Baltic states, Poland as well as the Czech Republic take a more critical stance on Russia than the rest of the EU 28. German diplomats and representatives of South European countries try to soften their position.
The EU foreign ministers warned Moscow of potential sanctions on Monday if the situation did not calm down.
European leaders are making various proposals today, including restrictions on Russian diplomats´ trips to the EU and targeted measures against the Russian government´s representatives.
Sobotka also said the Czech cabinet backed up the EC plan for an economic support of some 11 billion euros to the Ukrainian government.
"We suppose that it could help Ukraine. However, the provision of these financial means must be connected with reforms," Sobotka said.