Lipavsky: Russia is not a superpower

“We can already consider China a superpower. Certainly not Russia, although it has a large number of nuclear warheads, but it has lost its dominance in a number of other categories. This is not the size of the Soviet Union nor its ideological and cultural territorial influence. The Soviet Union offered an even interesting and tempting ideology, Communism was dragging on. Russia has no such thing, it is a nationalist-chauvinist state, a fascist. We see him every day,” Lipavský assessed the position of contemporary Russia.

The question was also whether the already eroded current security structures had not survived, whether the veto in the Security Council should be subordinated to the veto of the resolution by two countries. “The UN is built on the consensus of the victorious powers of World War II, and those countries defined how international relations should work. What Russia is doing in Ukraine is in direct conflict with the UN Charter, the prohibition of the war of aggression. I don’t know if it’s time to evaluate it now, but I can imagine that the outcome of this war will be an occasion for a serious debate which will open this,” said Lipavský .

“Russia’s isolation continues and I am happy that it has been excluded from the UN Human Rights Council,” the minister added.

The need to weaken Russia’s ability to wage war

Although Russia has stopped attacking kyiv and withdrawn from Chernihiv and Sum, it continues to press in other parts of Ukraine, Lipavsky warned. “We see that the war has been going on for a month and a half, that it has not lasted one or two days. Putin does not want to back down, so we must weaken Russia in its ability to wage war,” the official said. head of Czech diplomacy.

He openly admitted the difficulty of stopping Russia – by buying gas from it: “The biggest problem is that the European states send huge sums of money for these imports, and thanks to them, Russia can continue the war.”

Mikulecký said the current sanctions were not enough: “The sanctions we have introduced haven’t hurt Russia much so far, now I’m talking about European sanctions, some American and British ones have been much more effective Until we move to sanctions that hurt him, we will not completely limit his appetite for war in foreign territory.”

“It must be said that in terms of Europe’s energy security, a lot of things under Germany’s leadership have done everything to make it energy dependent on Russia,” Mikulecký said of the countries of the old continent.

“Suddenly, gas was considered almost an ecological fuel, but it is not, if you take the whole process from extraction to transformation, then it does not turn out to be much better than the coal. It was meant to be a temporary resource before we hit the ideal renewable energy target, not a substitute,” he recalled, along with how long it should have been used. “And the question is whether the rest of Europe will have the strength to convince Germany that its move away from nuclear power was a mistake, and that Germany could at least reverse the shutdown of the remaining power plants,” Mikulecký said. .

Sustained support for Ukraine

The Minister recalled that the effort to stop taking gas from Russia also corresponds to the intentions of the Green Deal to move away from fossil fuels. “It would seem that these two goals tend towards the same thing, but the question of savings and a common energy policy is difficult, it is crucial that there are no major breakdowns for households,” said Lipavský .

Mikulecký also admitted it: “We must maintain social peace, it will be difficult to support the war in Ukraine if people have no work and there is nothing to drown in winter.”

Given the protracted conflict, Lipavsky said, “support for Ukraine was needed on a sustained basis.” “But when you do certain activities in a sustainable way, the maximum is not possible. If you do your best, you will lose sustainability,” the minister added.

Mikulecký agreed with him: “Really effective sanctions would be great, but it is necessary to maintain support in Ukraine for Ukraine’s support. If we let gas prices skyrocket, part of the industry will shut down then we will lose the support of Ukraine Europe has really fallen asleep and will not catch up with what it underestimated in terms of energy security in a few months Not only have we allowed the Russians to turn off the tap, but Germany has sold its gas tanks to the Russians.” He proposed a temporary switch from gas to coal.

Germany leaves the core

“As a result, Germany’s green policy meant more gas was needed, so Nord Stream started to be built,” Lipavsky said. “I think they are scratching their heads a lot in Germany,” he added.

“And now the right question is how to get out of it, how to define the future energy policy. The question of the core is also correct, there it is an important partner of France for the Czech Republic. France plans a number of reactors, Poland is moving towards nuclear,” the minister said, noting that the EU has already promoted nuclear as a sustained source of energy, but did not say that this support is temporary.

He openly declared that Germany was not prepared to go any further: “I admit that in our negotiations with our counterpart Annalena Baerbock or with other German officials, we did not notice any sign that they wanted to return to nuclear energy. The Greens have a relatively clear idea.”

Military support is evolving and expanding

Given the need to impose sanctions wisely, which allows Russia to continue waging war, it is necessary to support Ukraine with armaments. “We do what we can, we can’t even talk about a lot of things, because they are in progress, we constantly agree on them,” the minister said. “Just to illustrate – the debate within the North Atlantic Alliance has gone from Soviet weapons that we can move to Ukraine or give to Ukraine, to what western weapons we can form the Ukraine,” Lipavsky pointed out.

He also indicated the reason: “So many weapons (of Soviet origin) have already gone there and they have been consumed by the war situation that there is not much to take. This n It’s not entirely simple, (Ukrainian) Foreign Minister (Dmytro) Kuleba said at the meeting that if we had started training a month and a half ago, we were almost done. it looks like the conflict will go on for some time yet.”

“The Czech Republic supports Ukraine in the greatest possible way to restore its territorial sovereignty within the limits of its international law. It is in the interest of European security policy and in the interest of the Czech Republic that the ‘Ukraine survives the current situation, because otherwise it will come towards us and we will pay a much higher price for it,’ Lipavský underlined the importance of helping Ukraine.

Mikulecký offered another possible support: “Maybe we could join Putin’s game, not send an army there, but we can send contractors. Putin sent his troops to Luhansk and Donetsk from 2014, claiming that it was soldiers on vacation, that they took a tank from their unit and went to fight it on vacation, it was a Russian regular army and we agreed. when our subcontractors come there, it can be a game-changer.”

Genocide and possible punishment

The conversation also touched on the brutal actions of Russian troops, which are already clear to be committing war crimes. “A genocide is clearly taking place in Ukraine, because what was published in the Russian official media was nothing more than a guide to the genocide,” Mikulecky said, referring to an article by Timofey Sergeyevev published by RIA Novosti .

“Just as we can be proud that the Czech Republic was the first to provide heavy weapons in support of Ukraine’s defences, we can be proud that Czech diplomacy really calls things by their real name,” the officials added. Russian terrorist groups. “The Kramatorsk attack, which sowed fear and terror among the civilian population, is nothing more than a terrorist attack,” he said.

The question, however, is how to punish such acts. According to Lipavsky, this is under consideration: “Right now the world is gathering information about what is happening in Ukraine, and there is a debate about what framework should be created for a possible tribunal or court. If something like it happens, I can imagine it will be a self-established organism, as it is in these cases.

The United States has not forgotten Europe

The minister added that even shifting US attention to the Indo-Pacific region did not mean leaving Europe. “There was a fear that if the United States focused on China, Russia would overwhelm us. And now we see Russia trying to fight back, but America hasn’t forgotten and Europe and America speak with a strong and united voice,” Lipavsky said.

He also stressed the need for European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, which is now one of the most economically important.

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