Czech Prez accuses Russia of ‘stupidity’ over ‘unfriendly’ label

Czech President Milos Zeman has criticised Russia’s decision to put his country on a new list of so-called unfriendly foreign states.

“The Russian side is committing stupidity because it is a mistake to turn former friends into enemies,” dpa news agency quoted the President as saying to the radio station Frekvence 1 on Sunday.

He pleaded that if friendship was not possible, “at least correct relations” should be restored.

Under Moscow’s decision, the Czech Republic may only employ 19 Russian citizens in its embassy in Russia.

This has very concrete consequences: From June on, hotel and restaurant operations in the Czech Cultural Centre in Moscow will be discontinued.

The large building complex in the middle of the city centre was built in 1986 and serves as a base for businessmen and exporters as well as an advertisement for the country.

The Czech Republic had blamed Russian intelligence services for explosions at an ammunition depot in the east of the country in 2014.

Moscow denied all accusations.

Both sides expelled diplomats as a result.

Only the Czech Republic and the US are on the new list of “unfriendly foreign states”.