On Tuesday, October 10, a speech was given by Milos Zeman, President of the Czech Republic, at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Members of the Ukrainian delegation said that he advised Ukraine to abandon the Crimea in exchange for compensation from Russia.
“The Czech president just insulted Ukraine at the PACE meeting in Strasbourg. In response to my question about the Crimea, he said that the Crimea was illegally annexed, but it is not necessary to return it to Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia can agree on compensation, for example, financial compensation,” wrote Deputy Alexey Goncharenko on Facebook.
The First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Irina Gerashchenko, called Zeman’s speech “awful in its cynicism.”
She said that he actively “promoted Putin,” and “urged immediate lifting of sanctions, because they are not working and are hitting the EU, not Russia.”
Herashchenko believes that Zeman became an “anti-Havel” and added, “It's so sad to see complete political degradation. And it was such a pity for the Czech delegation, who felt uncomfortable and awkward in the face of such lack of morality and principles. But I was even more disappointed by the sound of applause in the hall from some Europeans during Zeman's speech.”
This is not the first time Zeman has made such statements. Last year, he said that “the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made an unforgivably stupid mistake,” when he transferred the Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR, and that “Crimea cannot be returned to Ukraine.” Zeman has also repeatedly opposed the EU sanctions and regularly expresses pro-Russian views.