Czech MEPs call on President Zeman to apologize to Ukraine

A group of members of the European Parliament (EP) from the Czech Republic have sent a letter to the President of the country, Milos Zeman, with an appeal "to apologize to Ukraine for [his] statements, thus at least partially correcting the harm," reported Radio Liberty.

The deputies’ letter, which the editorial staff of Radio Liberty has obtained, also notes that Zeman undermined the authority of international law during his performance in Strasbourg, when Ukraine became a victim of Russian aggression.
"This aggression, which led to the illegal situation in the Crimea, continues, and is therefore a security risk for our country and the whole of Europe," the letter said.

According to the Czech MEPs, Milos Zeman's position contradicts international law and the position of the Czech government.

"Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, and its annexation in 2014 was a grave violation of the Budapest Agreement of 1994, in which Russia, among other things, pledged to respect Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity," the letter says.

The statement recalls that on October 10 Czech President Milos Zeman, while speaking at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said that the annexation of Crimea by Russia is a "faît accompli", that is, a hard fact, and, in his personal opinion, "compensation for Crimea in financial or in kind form – e.g. oil or gas - could certainly be possible.” He devoted his speech to PACE on the need to abolish EU sanctions against Russia over its aggression against Ukraine, calling it "ineffective."

After Zeman's speech, he was sharply criticized in Ukraine and in the Czech Republic.

The Kremlin called President Milos Zeman's proposal "an intra-European discussion," noting that compensation for Ukraine for the annexation of the Crimea "is out of the question". Zeman himself stated that he would not apologize for his words about the Crimea, since this is his "personal view."

  Czech Republic, Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, Milos Zeman