Ex-Czech president refuses to return Russian award — RT World News

Calling it ‘cheap Russophobia’, Vaclav Klaus said such a move would be ‘childish’

Vaclav Klaus, who was president of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013, refused to return a Russian state decoration amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. In 2007, the Russian ambassador to the central European country, Aleksey Fedotov, awarded the Czech politician Pushkin Medal for “bring nations together and preserve their cultural heritage.“Klaus was the first Czech citizen to receive this award.

In an interview with Czech media outlet Lidovky published on Friday, Klaus said he considered “it’s childish to return this medal to someone in a demonstrative way,“adding that such a gesture was something he”wouldn’t go down [himself] for.“He went on to proclaim that he”should be taken to the execution site to do something like this.

According to Klaus, the price in question was not “Putin’s Medal” but rather “Pushkin’s Medal.He argued that it was not even President Vladimir Putin who launched the medal, but then-President Boris Yeltsin, as it emerged in 1999.

He referred to what he described as “the cheap Russophobia that still exists today,“and denounced the sweeping”cancelation“of”Russian culture.

Speaking about the effects the war in Ukraine was having on the Czech Republic, Klaus said the influx of refugees would cost both the state and taxpayers much more than the Covid pandemic.

Since February 24, when, acting on Putin’s orders, Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border, the country’s Foreign Ministry and several officials have reported instances of discrimination against Russian citizens in Europe. , including in the Czech Republic. According to Russian media, Russian nationals have been the target of verbal and even physical attacks in the country.

In a post on its official Facebook page on Thursday, the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic warned that the extent of Russophobia had become dangerous and cited a growing number of crimes targeting Russians. The diplomats said they contacted the Czech authorities to ask them to take appropriate action.

On Saturday, Aleksey Paramonov, the head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s First European Department, described the current anti-Russian sentiment in Europe as “bordering on racism.

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