Final Word from Monday, July 23, 2007

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said in the FT that Russia would like to achieve the same status vis-a-vis the U.S. that the Soviet Union had. Then the two of them would be the ones to decide on European issues, he said. "I am sorry," he added, "but we consider that is our affair too." By this, he means that the CR has the right to ignore Russia's objections to the U.S. radar station. A key opponent of the base, presidential hopeful Jiří Dienstbier, is also concerned that the U.S. and Russia will end up deciding on European issues. The big difference is that when he talks about protecting "our" interests, he means Europe, not just the CR. He told Právo that keeping the radar issue bilateral could weaken and divide Europe. The Czech government's policy, he suggested, is leading to precisely the situation that Schwarzenberg fears - a new bipolar world with the CR and Europe as bystanders.[Czech Republic USSR United States European Union missile defense shield Financial Times]


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