Fiala then, Fiala now

PM Petr Fiala said yesterday before leaving for an EU summit in Brussels that there are vitally important reasons for the Czech population to secure a temporary exemption to an embargo on Russian oil and petroleum products. “We simply cannot allow ourselves to be in the situation of not having certain types of petroleum products,” he said. In the short term, he added, Czech dependence on Russian oil and natural gas cannot be severed. He had said something similar after his recent meeting with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Compare Fiala’s position now with the 10-point plan agreed upon in March by Fiala, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovenian PM Janez Janša. They called then for cutting off payments for Russian oil, gas and coal as soon as possible and quickly removing all Russian banks from Swift (which would end payments for any Russian products). Fiala boasted at the time that the CR was a leader in pushing for sanctions. Now the CR is a leader in pushing for exemptions. Czech reliance on Russian fossil fuels hasn’t changed at all, but Fiala’s presentation of the situation has.

FW220531

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