Ukraine needs to decide on the direction of its development on its own, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said following talks with his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius.
“We have no right…to tell countries located in our close vicinity what future they should choose for themselves,” Zaoralek said at a press conference.
“I don’t think we have the right to give any advice to Ukraine, for example, on the direction in should follow. It’s a path that sovereign states must choose for themselves. It’s up to the Ukrainian people,” Zaoralek added.
On November 17, during his interview with the Russian Channel One, Czech President Milos Zeman said that what is happening in Ukraine is simply a civil war and spoke against the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia by the West over its alleged role in the crisis in Ukraine.
Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, as European and US leaders blame Moscow for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs — a claim that Russia has repeatedly denied.
Over the past few months, the European Union, the United States and their allies have implemented several rounds of sanctions targeting Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors, as well as a number of high-ranking officials.
Ukraine entered its current political crisis in November 2013, which first started with a wave of civil protests, leading to the February overthrow of the then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
The crisis in Ukraine escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the southeast who refused to recognize the new government which came to power as a result of the February coup.