It’s been a turbulent start to the Czech Republic’s European Union presidency – and nowhere more so than in foreign policy and energy policy, both of which are intimately linked to the EU’s relations with Russia. Some European pundits are worried that the Czechs – with their Soviet bloc past, present-day anti-communism, strong emphasis on human rights, and plans to host part of a US anti-missile shield on Czech soil – are simply the wrong people to represent the EU in its dealings with Russia over the next six months.
So what does Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg think of that argument? “It comes from the erroneous perception that the Czech Republic has special prejudices or even hatreds towards Russia,” he told me and some other Brussels-based reporters in Prague this week. Read more