Final Word from Monday, February 20, 2023

The official Czech position on the war in Ukraine hasn't changed since PM Petr Fiala, the cabinet and the security council condemned the Russian aggression on Feb. 24 and the lower house of Parliament passed a resolution supporting Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Yet President-elect Petr Pavel said during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference on Sat. that, "We may end up with a situation where liberating some parts of Ukrainian territory may deliver more losses on lives than will be bearable by society. So there might be a point where even Ukrainians will start thinking about a different outcome." This elicited a sharp reaction from Ukrainian Foreign Min. Dmytro Kuleba, who had spoken during the panel of the full liberation of Ukrainian territory. Pavel diverged from official Czech policy, but he indirectly backed up what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said four days earlier about Crimea in a call with a group of experts, as reported by Politico. If Pavel wants to try to mold Czech foreign policy without conferring with the cabinet, he should say upfront who is drafting his talking points. [ Czech Republic minister liberation ]

Glossary of difficult words

to elicit - to evoke or draw out (a reaction, answer or fact) from someone;

to diverge from - to depart from (a set course or standard);

to back up - to help or support;

to mold - to influence the formation or development of;

to confer - to have discussions; to exchange opinions;

upfront - in a way that makes one's intentions or beliefs clear;

talking point - a pre-established message or formula used in the field of political communication.

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