MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The decision by the authorities of the Prague 6 municipal district to take down and transfer the monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from its present location may cast a dark shadow over Russian-Czech relations and this step won’t go unanswered, the Russian Foreign Ministry vowed in a statement on Friday.
“We are outraged at the cynical decision of the Prague 6 district authorities to move the monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev, who commanded the army of the First Ukrainian Front that liberated Prague from the Nazis in May 1945, which is located in this area of the Czech capital,” the ministry noted.
The Foreign Ministry added that it deeply regrets the fact that the local authorities “did not listen to the appeals of the Czech public and its leadership to prevent this scenario.” “We still consider this move to be a violation of the provisions of the bilateral Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation as of August 26, 1993,” the Foreign Ministry highlighted.
“The decision taken at the municipal level can become a noticeable irritant in bilateral relations and seriously overshadow the atmosphere and an answer will surely follow. We hope that the initiators of this unprecedented action that is underway will change their mind and comprehend all the consequences of their deeds,” the ministry stated.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also reported that on Friday Russian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeyevsky would inform the administration of the Czech Foreign Ministry on the Russian evaluation of the situation regarding the monument.
The Prague 6 district council adopted a decree to transfer the Konev monument by a majority of votes on Thursday. A memorial to the liberation of Prague is to be mounted in its place. The district municipality will find a site to where the monument to the Soviet marshal will be relocated. On Thursday, President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman slammed the decision to transfer the monument as shameful, since Konev is a symbol of those Red Army soldiers who gave their lives to liberate Czechoslovakia from the brutal Nazi yoke.