Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman will tell NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that NATO should deploy its troops in Ukraine if Russia starts major military operations in Ukraine outside Crimea, Zeman told CTK today.
Prezident Miloš Zeman poskytl 9. dubna na Pražském hradě rozhovor ČTK u příležitosti 10. výročí vstupu České republiky do Evropské unie. ČTK Šimánek Vít
Zeman is scheduled to meet Rasmussen in Prague on Thursday.
He said that he supported increased government spending on defence, but the money should be used efficiently.
Zeman voiced his view on NATO's action in Ukraine on Sunday. He told CTK today that he was ready to repeat it to Rasmussen.
"Of course, I will repeat this. I think that the occupation of Crimea that never belonged to Ukraine is one thing and an invasion of a sovereign country quite another," Zeman said.
Constantly arguing with ethnic minorities' claims in foreign policy is impossible as this would trigger a chain reaction, he added.
"If reduced to absurdity, Russians might demand the protection of their citizens in Karlovy Vary, a prospect hardly anyone of us would wish," Zeman said.
The spa town of Karlovy Vary, west Bohemia, hosts a large Russian community.
Russia said recently that it was ready to protect its citizens in eastern Ukraine. However, it has repeatedly said it was not planning any military invasion of its neighbours.
Zeman is for Ukraine's federalisation along the model of Germany and Switzerland. He said this could calm down the situation in the country.
Rasmussen is also expected to lobby for the Czech Republic's increased defence spending. NATO countries have pledged to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defence, but the Czech Republic is only giving just over 1 percent to the cause.