City Council decides to cut ties with Moscow, St. Petersburg over ‘imperial’ Russian invasion in Ukraine
Prague, Sept. 2 (ČTK) — The Czech capital Prague has suspended its partnership with Moscow and St. Petersburg over “Russia’s aggression” toward Ukraine, Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09) announced today, citing the City Council’s decision, and called on other Czech towns to follow suit.
“The Putin regime’s willful attack on Ukraine has threatened not only the sovereignty of Ukraine but also the security of the whole of Europe. We remain friends of the Russian people, but we reject the imperial policy pursued by the Kremlin,” Hudeček wrote on his Facebook profile.
In the Russian political system, cities are not genuine self-rule bodies that would be independent of the government’s policy, Hudeček added.
“We know that our decision alone will not stem Russian aggression. Nevertheless, we believe that if other [Czech] towns joined our decision, it would be an effective message to Russian citizens that Vladimir Putin’s policy poses a serious danger to the future of European countries’ cooperation with Russia,” Hudeček said.
Moscow has been Prague’s partner city since 1995. In 2000, the two cities signed an agreement on friendly relations and cooperation.
Moscow denies that Russian soldiers, except for volunteers, are fighting together with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
According to the UN, the conflict has claimed almost 3000 lives so far, including those of the crew and passengers of the Malaysian Airlines MH-17 flight allegedly downed by separatists July 17.