Metnar: Czech state unable to hand Konev statue over to Russia

The Czech minister of defence, Lubomír Metnar, says his country respects the Red Army soldiers who fell during the liberation of Czechoslovakia but is unable to hand over a statue of commander Ivan Konev to Russia. The monument was removed by the Prague 6 district authority in April, provoking anger in Moscow.

In a letter to his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, Mr. Metnar said the statue of Konev belonged to Prague 6 and did not fall under war graves, which the Czech state looks after.

The Czech minister said planned consultations between the foreign ministers of the two countries could help overcome problems that have burdened relations recently.

Author: Ian Willoughby