- Hans Weber
- December 6, 2023
Czech Prime Minister Highlights Threats from Russia and China, Urges Strategic Vigilance
Russia’s imperial policy and China’s actions both present significant security challenges for the Czech Republic, according to Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Civic Democrats (ODS). Speaking at the opening of the Czech ambassadors’ meeting at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters, Fiala emphasized the need for vigilance in the face of these threats.
While Russia’s aggressive foreign policy poses the most prominent security risk, Fiala also underscored the importance of monitoring China’s actions, especially considering its power ambitions. He noted that China has been closely observing the conflict in Ukraine with its own interests in mind.
Fiala stressed the Czech Republic’s commitment to providing civilian and military assistance to Ukraine, advocating for its integration into the European Union and NATO, and preparing for post-war reconstruction in the invaded country.
Energy security was another critical aspect discussed by Fiala. He highlighted the necessity of shifting to US and French fuel for nuclear power plants to achieve complete energy independence from Russia.
Recognizing the complexity of the conflict in Ukraine, Fiala expressed concern over the possibility of a stalemate or frozen conflict. He emphasized the need to consider multiple scenarios and strategies for addressing the ongoing situation.
Regarding energy policy, Fiala emphasized the importance of reducing dependence on Russia. He stated that while the Czech Republic is nearly 100 percent independent of Russian gas, efforts are ongoing to eliminate dependence on Russian oil by completing the TAL pipeline extension by the end of the following year.
Fiala also touched on the significance of Czech relations with its allies, praising the strength of Transatlantic relations. He highlighted the positive impact of last year’s Czech EU presidency on the country’s position.
The prime minister advocated for practical cooperation within the Visegrad Group, which includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. He also emphasized the importance of broader Central European dialogues, including strategic cooperation with Germany and strengthening relations with Austria.
Fiala commended the improved coordination of the state’s foreign policy, citing changes in leadership that facilitated regular meetings of elected officials to discuss foreign policy matters. He highlighted the role of the national security adviser in enhancing this coordination.
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky also addressed the meeting, which began with a minute of silence to honor recently deceased diplomats.
Article by Prague Forum