Currently, it is impossible “not to have” relations with Russia, said Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulganek in an article published on the website.
As the minister noted, the impossibility of abandoning relations with Russia was demonstrated by the summit of US and Russian Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in June this year and the visit to Moscow of German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week.
“Neither the Baltic states, nor Poland have interrupted their contacts with Moscow, although their relations have long been even more acute than ours (Czech-Russian – ed.)”, – Kulganek said.
According to the minister, after the incident with the explosions in Vrbetica, relations between the Czech Republic and Russia are at a freezing point. But, since it is impossible to abandon relations with Moscow, as part of the Czech political spectrum called for after Vrbetice, it is impossible to build them on the basis of excessive emotions.
According to Kulganek, the current situation in bilateral relations did not arise overnight, it gradually worsened, at least since 2014, and, of course, the incident in Vrbetica had a serious impact on it. At the same time, according to him, Prague reacted to these events “as a sovereign and self-confident country.”
Now, a kind of audit of Czech-Russian relations, which has affected a number of ministries, said the head of the Foreign Ministry.
“I am convinced that it is in our vital interests to sit at the same table with Russian diplomats. This is precisely what the former head of the NATO Military Committee, Peter Pavel, also said recently, from whom we could expect – in connection with his long-known views – a rather more radical position (towards Russia – ed.)”, – the politician added.
Kulganek expressed the hope that there will be no debate about the possible closure of the Czech Embassy in Moscow, since its presence is a practical necessity, both to support entrepreneurs and to help those Czech citizens who travel to Russia to get education or participate in cultural events.
The Czech Foreign Minister also expressed his conviction that politics should interfere as little as possible in the economic or cultural cooperation of both countries. He recalled the large volume of mutual economic relations, noted that a number of Czech firms and enterprises have branches in Russia, and dozens of Czech citizens work as managers in the Russian branches of the world’s largest corporations.
Speaking about the restoration of relations with Russia, the minister predicted that this would be a “long process.”
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“Much depends, of course, on the availability of the will (to negotiate – ed.) On the other side. Nevertheless, I would like no one to treat this matter through the prism of ideology or even prejudice, but so that we can be pragmatic and take into account Czech national interests”.