Defence minister says president's decision to travel to Moscow "not the most fortunate"

Defence Minister Martin Stropnický has echoed the sentiments of fellow members in government, the Christian Democrats, saying that a decision by the country's president to attend a military parade in Moscow on May 9 was "not the most fortunate". The event will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. The defence minister told TV Prima that it was necessary to honor those who died fighting against Nazism, but noted that Mr Zeman would be only one of a "few" heads-of-state attending. Democratic leaders are largely staying away as a result of Russia's annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine. The defence minster suggested it would be better if the Czech president followed other democratic politicians' cue. Mr Zeman's spokesman responded to earlier criticism by saying the president had no intention of changing his plans.

Author: Jan Velinger