‘West must keep a clear stance on the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border,’ Fiala says

According to Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Western countries must take a clear, unified stance on the situation in Ukraine. “Russia must know that there are borders that cannot be crossed,” he told reporters before leaving for Brussels, where he is due to attend an informal summit on the Russian-Ukrainian border. The prime minister said the position of the EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states was clear, understandable, and firm, which was a good thing.

Only with a clear, determined, strong stance can anything be achieved, Fiala said, referring to a series of negotiations that European politicians have held with both sides of the dispute. He described the diplomatic initiative as something EU countries must not give up.

In recent weeks, long-standing tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been exacerbated by Russian troop movements to Ukraine’s eastern border. The West suspects Russia to attack Ukraine, but Moscow has repeatedly denied this.

Fiala said a way out of the situation should be achieved through diplomacy and would mean peace in Europe. Otherwise, he noted, the conflict would affect territory just 300 kilometers from the Czech border, which is “extremely close.” 

Ukraine formally addressed the UN Security Council on Wednesday to discuss a recent resolution by the Russian parliament urging President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv says the Russian MPs’ actions undermine the Minsk agreements and efforts to end the years-long conflict in the Donbas.