Czech foreign minister: Prague ready to negotiate moving Marshal Konev statue to Russia

The Czech Republic is open to discussions about the transfer of the statue of Marshal Ivan Konev, which until recently stood in Prague 6, to Russia, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told the daily Hospodářské Noviny. The statue of the marshal had raised controversy in the Czech Republic due to the marshal’s participation in the brutal suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and was removed by the local authorities in April after it was repeatedly vandalized. The decision sparked outrage in Russia, which accused Prague of violating the 1993 treaty signed between the two countries.

The Czech foreign minister dismissed the accusation saying that the 1993 treaty only commits both sides to the dignified treatment of each other’s monuments and their protection from damage.

The statue of the controversial marshal who liberated Prague in 1945, but also had an active role in crushing the Hungarian Uprising and building the Berlin Wall, has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between the two countries for some time.

Author: Tom McEnchroe