Lipavský: Diplomatic relations with Russia should be maintained despite “terrorist" designation

Despite last week’s vote in the Chamber of Deputies to designate Russia’s current ruling regime as “terrorist”, Czechia intends to maintain at least basic diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has told Czech Radio’s news site “The fact that we are maintaining basic diplomatic communication, does not mean that we agree with the stances of that state nor that we are interested in expanding any type of cooperation," Mr Lipavský told the news site, adding for context that Czechia also has diplomatic relations with countries such as Iran or Syria.

Alena Schillerová from ANO, the largest party in the Chamber of Deputies, which is currently in opposition, agreed that diplomatic relations and the presence of embassies should not be cancelled, stating: “Diplomacy is important and twice as much in times of conflict.”

The vote to declare the current Russian regime as a terrorist one took place in the lower-house of Czech Parliament last Tuesday, with 129 out of the 156 deputies that were present voting in favour of the resolution. 14 deputies, all from the opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy party, voted against. The resolution was made in accordance with an earlier one made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last month.