Czech President Václav Klaus assures Estonia of friendship after divisive comment

Czech President Václav Klaus has published a letter to his Estonian counterpart, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, affirming the importance of the two countries' relations. Mr Klaus unsettled the leaders of Estonia and Lithuania at the weekend when he suggested the interests of Russia deserve greater attention than those of the two Baltic countries. The Estonian foreign ministry said it had summoned the Czech ambassador over the comments. On Wednesday the Czech president denied intending any categorisation of countries as more and less important and emphasised the two countries’ friendship. At the same time Mr Klaus reiterated that Russia is a large, strong and ambitious state warranting greater attention than smaller states including the Czech Republic.