Russia is the enemy of the moment. But that doesn’t mean forever, says Spidla iROZHLAS

He was Prime Minister of a party that completely failed in the parliamentary elections last year. Vladimir Spidla was involved in high politics when Vladimir Putin began to preside over Russia. “At this point, Russia is a clear imperial power that has launched an aggression. It looks a lot like Tsarist Russia and is certainly at least an adversary and for now an enemy. However, that does not mean that forever” , explains the director of the Masaryk Democratic Academy.




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Vladimir Spidla Photo: Kateřina Cibulka | Source: Czech Radio

Špidla positively assesses the progress of the current Czech government towards Ukraine. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. The event is so catastrophic and so fundamental that it overcomes a lot of hesitation and the search for a shadow. The government is reacting accordingly, ”says the former Prime Minister and European Commissioner at the CSSD.

Vladimír Špidla, director of the Masaryk Democratic Academy, former Prime Minister and European Commissioner at the CSSD

According to him, Czech social democracy has never had friendly relations with Russia. At the same time, however, he points out that Russia, on the other hand, is an important part of the world and needs to have contact with it.

“Anyway, let’s say it’s been ten years in this aggressive phase. In the meantime, there have been various moments of fusion and the like. always seems reasonable,” he suggests.

Clear genocidal elements

US President Joe Biden used the term genocide in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Špidla points out that the word genocide has a very precise definition. According to him, what the Russians have done is a heinous war crime. But he only speaks of genocidal elements.


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“President Biden uses the word genocide metaphorically because he says the final decision should be up to the lawyers. But this image fits. There is a terrible question we see on the battlefield and behind the battlefield But the second thing that is more serious in this regard is the Russian texts and, after all, Putin’s war speech, you see, they do not recognize Ukraine as something independent and Ukrainians as an independent people. And when he speaks of denazification, what is it? From this point of view, the genocidal elements are clear in their texts. Genocide requires a certain definition, and because these texts signal a genocide, for the moment it is something other than a simple heinous war crime”, he explains.

“It’s similar to the Armenian Genocide in World War I. The Turks don’t deny that these were brutal war crimes. They even executed one of the main organizers in the 1920s. But they deny that “It’s genocide. So it’s something well-defined. And the terms have to be treated fairly,” says Špidla.

I didn’t want a permanent foreign military base

Social Democracy was not a Russian agency and defended the interests of the Czech Republic as it just imagined, says Špidla about when the CSSD rejected the radar base that the United States wanted to build in the Czech Republic .



“I had very strong reservations at the time, and I agreed. I didn’t want the 1968 experiment to have a permanent foreign military base on our territory. Even now, I’m not sure. It would take I don’t think it’s such a simple thing that it directly increases our security. unacceptable to me. And I was not alone,” he recalls.

And he explains his attitude. “It just came to our knowledge at that time. Because escalating the conflict with the Russian Federation doesn’t make sense. In that other context, of course, I can’t be sure anymore. But now , I look at it differently than I did back then. At that time it was crucial for me that the fundamental interest of the Czech Republic was not to have a permanent base of another army on its territory. Now, the context is different, so my point of view changes,” repeats the former Czech Prime Minister.

What does he say about the result of the legislative elections for social democracy? What does the future of CSSD predict? Listen to the whole personality of Barbora Tachecí.

Katka Brezovska, Barbora Tacheci

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