Czech President Says His ‘Doors Are Closed’ to US Envoy

Czech President Says His ‘Doors Are Closed’ to US Envoy

Leader of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, says he won’t let any ambassador of another nation intrude with advice over his foreign visits. This comes as the US Ambassador criticized Zeman’s plans to go to Moscow’s celebration of the WWII parade.
“I’m afraid, after this statement the doors of the Prague Castle are closed for Ambassador Schapiro,” Zeman told Parlamentni Listy web portal on Saturday, RT reported. Prague Castle is the president’s official residence and office.
Earlier, the US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Andrew Schapiro, criticized Zeman’s decision to go to Russia for Victory Day celebrations in May. He called the plans “short-sighted”, as it would “be awkward” if the Czech president was the only statesman from an EU country on Red Square.
“I cannot imagine a Czech ambassador in Washington giving advice to the US president on where he should travel,” Zeman said. “I will not let any ambassador interfere with the program of my foreign trips.”
In the interview, the president also voiced his concern over the current Western attempts to isolate Russia.
“It is essential to maintain and develop relations with Russia not only on a commercial basis, but also, for instance, based on the strategic partnership in the fight against international terrorism,” he said.
Previously, Zeman said that his visit to Russia would be a “sign of gratitude for not having to speak German in this country.” He also intended to pay tribute to the memory of 150,000 Soviet soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia.
By Saturday, 25 foreign leaders and several international organizations confirmed their participation in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War that is to take place in Moscow on May 9, the head of the Kremlin administration Sergey Ivanov said.

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