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Czech president may pay out of his pocket for his visit to Moscow — presidential spokesman

April 07, 2015, 20:21 UTC+3 PRAGUE
On Wednesday, the Czech government will consider the issue of financing Zeman’s visit to Moscow from the state budget
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Czech President Milos Zeman

Czech President Milos Zeman

© EPA/FILIP SINGER

PRAGUE, April 7. /TASS/. Czech President Milos Zeman’s forthcoming visit to Moscow to attend V-Day celebrations is excessively politicized, presidential spokesperson Jiri Ovcacek said on Tuesday.

"The president’s visit is too much politicized," he said.

The Czech president has repeatedly said he was not going to cancel his participation in V-Day celebrations in Moscow. "My absence will be an insult to the memory of Soviet soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia," he said.

On Wednesday, the Czech government will consider the issue of financing Zeman’s visit to Moscow from the state budget. "If financing is denied, the head of state will have to pay for his trip himself," said Pavel Belobradek, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Christian Democratic Party.

Apart from that, he condemned US Ambassador Andrew Schapiro’s critical remarks about Zeman’s plans to attend World War Two celebrations in Moscow.

Schapiro told Czech television last week that it would be "awkward" if the Czech president was the only statesman from a European Union country present at ceremonies in Russia's capital, noting that this would discredit the West’s position on Ukraine.

"I don’t think the ambassador should speak that clearly about foreign visits by the republic’s president. This should be a competence of local politicians," Belobradek said.

Christian Democrats have three out of 17 ministerial posts in the Czech government of Bohuslav Sobotka, a Social Democrat. According to government source, spending on Zeman’s visit to Moscow, excluding the fair for hiring a Czech air force jet, would amount to 660,000 korunas (about $25,000).

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