Czech PM not opposing president's disputed Russian trip

AP News
Posted: Apr 08, 2015 12:23 PM
Czech PM not opposing president's disputed Russian trip

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says he is not opposing the president's trip to Moscow, the subject of Milos Zeman's dispute with the U.S. ambassador.

Zeman recently bristled at the envoy's implied criticism of his decision to attend Moscow's traditional May 9 military parade despite tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Zeman said U.S. Ambassador Andrew Schapiro is no longer welcome at Prague Castle, the seat of presidency, a move criticized by Sobotka.

After meeting Zeman Wednesday, Sobotka said Soviet soldiers sacrificed their lives while liberating most of Czechoslovakia in World War II and "it's appropriate to honor them."

Sobotka, whose government is in charge of foreign policy, said that doesn't mean his government would change its critical view of Russia's actions in Ukraine.