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Respekt in English2. 10. 20086 minut

We'll sweeten it up for the Russians

Won't the Czechs be too weak to negotiate with Russia on equal terms? Two decades ago such a question would have sounded somewhat fatuous, similar to the question whether the Czechs would build good spaceships for trips to Mars. But this coming January will see those "spaceships" become real.

Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

Won't the Czechs be too weak to negotiate with Russia on equal terms? Two decades ago such a question would have sounded somewhat fatuous, similar to the question whether the Czechs would build good spaceships for trips to Mars. But this coming January will see those „spaceships“ become real. Our government will lead the EU agenda and for the first time ever, we will sit down to negotiate with Russia on equal terms. So, let me ask once again: Will we not be too weak for this? The entire Europe is waiting for an answer and expecting no mistakes.

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With our tradition

The Czechs might add an unambiguous view on the debate on whether the world is getting better or worse, which has currently been the subject of the world's newspaper columnists. We have moved from the powerless state, which was not even invited to negotiations in September 1938 when an ominous totalitarian regime enforced the confiscation of one quarter of Czech territory, into the position of a country which will now lead the European Union for six months.

The Czechs have an ideal opportunity to improve their self-confidence with this task. The presidency is coming at a time, which requires dealing with Russia's departure from Georgia and with the whole complicated relationship between the EU and Putin's administration. Then there is the Irish NO to the constitutional treaty, the financial crisis and the…

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