Václav Havel signs warning letter to US President

Former Czech president Václav Havel and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg are among the signatories of an open letter that has been prepared for President Barack Obama. The letter – signed by other former political heavyweights and intellectuals in Central and Eastern Europe – calls for Washington not to ignore the region as the price for improved relations with Moscow. Former European affairs minister Alexandr Vondra told the Czech paper Lidové noviny that Obama is looking for quick results and improved relations with Russia and that could be at the expense of former Soviet block countries.

The letter warns that a total renunciation of US plans for an anti-radar system in the Czech Republic and Poland - or Russian involvement in them - would undermine trust in the US. Mr Vondra is due to deliver the letter to US leaders in Washington.

Author: Chris Johnstone