Ukrainian Flag is raised at the EP building in Strasbourg

Lipavsky: Russia’s War In Ukraine Is A Threat To The Czech Republic and the EU

Flags of Europe and Ukraine. Photo credit:

Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky addressed a meeting of Czech ambassadors yesterday, criticising Russia for gross violations of the UN Charter and international law by unleashing the war in Ukraine, in which hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are dying and suffering, and which Lipavsky warned also threatens Czechia and the EU. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war must not succeed, including in the form of territorial gains or restrictions on Ukraine’s sovereignty, Lipavsky (Pirates) said, at the opening of the regular consultation of the diplomatic mission heads at the Foreign Ministry’s seat in the Cernin Palace.

Russia is using methods similar to those of terrorist organizations, he added, such as the massacre of civilians in Bucha, threatening the use of nuclear weapons, and the escalating situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Lipavsky stated that the most important task of Czech diplomacy is to support Ukraine and explain why no one should be indifferent towards evil in the form of war.

“This naturally does not concern Europe only, but this task might be even more urgent in Africa and in all countries of the global South that Russia is trying to manipulate against Ukraine and the West,” Lipavsky added.

He said that the war had fundamentally influenced the priorities of the current Czech EU presidency, the main topic of which is to aid Ukraine in its defence against Russian aggression and the country’s reconstruction.

“Russia’s aggressive behaviour again revealed Europe’s weak points, whether it comes to our defence capability, cyber security or the resilience of our institutions and communities,” Lipavsky said. The key task of the EU is to remain united in its reaction to the Russian aggression, he added.

“We will be pushing to suspend the EU visa facilitation agreements with Russia, as well as Belarus which is supporting Moscow in its aggression. This seems to be an achievable goal. Discussions about how to further restrict the visas being issued to Russians and Belarusians are also on the agenda of the day. The EU member states’ stances on this matter are not united, and there is a lot of work ahead of us,” Lipavsky said.

The Czech Republic would like to help Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia with their EU integration with concrete steps. The foreign ministers of these countries will arrive in Prague next week to attend a lunch on the sidelines of a meeting of EU countries’ foreign ministers.

However, the Czech Republic is not forgetting EU candidate countries from the Western Balkans either, Lipavsky said.

The Foreign Ministry has so far received dozens of requests for long-term residence from human rights campaigners, independent journalists and activists from Russia and Belarus, Lipavsky said. The Czech government approved the Civic Society program for this purpose in May. The Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry are processing these requests.

Lipavsky said his office had sped up the preparation of the Magnitsky Act that would allow national sanctions to be imposed for severe breaches of international law.

As well as this, a meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council is to be held after ten years in October, during the Czech EU presidency. Another meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is also planned.

Lipavsky described scientific diplomacy as one of his priorities. He also mentioned the needs of his office, such as its financial security and stabilisation, in particular, the establishment of the independent areas of energy security and sanctions.

Moreover, the legislative environment must be improved, Lipavsky said, calling for an amendment to the law on civil service. Another priority is to improve the quality of the Diplomatic Academy’s work, he added.

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