Czech President Milos Zeman condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for the introduction of tough anti-Russian sanctions, including the disconnection of Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT.
"With these actions , Russia is committing crimes against humanity," Zeman said in a televised address. “The irrational decision of the leadership of the Russian Federation will cause significant damage to Russia itself. I think that the time has come to start tougher sanctions than previously planned. These are, first of all, sanctions in the sphere of the international banking network SWIFT, which would mean the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the this payment system. "
Zeman expressed regret that he was mistaken a few days ago declaring his confidence that the Russian Federation would not launch military operations against Ukraine. "The act of unjustified aggression must be condemned, not only with words, but also with deeds," the president said.
He expressed "full support for Ukraine, its leadership and its people." On Friday, Milos Zeman will take part in a NATO video conference together with Czech Prime Petr Fiala. "I believe that the situation [around Ukraine] will calm down, but in no case [by achieving] a cowardly compromise, but by a decisive [international] reaction against the aggressor. I am very sorry that this is happening," Zeman said.
"I love Russian culture and have [great] respect for the sacrifices made by the Russian people in World War II, but this does not mean that I will agree that foreign troops should enter the territory of a sovereign state without declaring war. I have studied in detail the speech of President [of Russia] Putin delivered this morning. I will answer it with a single phrase - imaginary or real mistakes [of someone], like the bombing [in 1999 of Yugoslavia] or the entry [of Western coalition troops] into Iraq, cannot justify their own mistakes," the Czech president said.