Czech daily news roundup: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022

The Czech Republic stands by Ukraine, B-52 bomber lands in Czechia as part of NATO exercises, and an iconic candy bar wrapper gets a modern update.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 22.02.2022 08:14:00 (updated on 22.02.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

12:24 Ukrainian embassy in Prague condemns Russia's actions

Ukraine has condemned the Russian decision to recognize the independence of the "quasi units" of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian embassy in Prague wrote on its Facebook Tuesday, referring to a statement of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday evening that it is necessary to recognize the independence of the "people's republics" that pro-Russian separatists in 2014 declared in the Donbas area. Russian TV broadcasting showed Putin and the leaders of the people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk signing decrees that, according to observers, should provide Russia legal grounds for sending its soldiers to Donbas. Ukraine says further decisions made and steps taken by Russia will to a great extent depend on the world's reaction to the latest developments.

RULING UNESCO-listed garden to remain state property

One of the two UNESCO-listed historical gardens adjoining the Archbishop's chateau in Kroměříž, South Moravia, will remain property of the state after the Constitutional Court rejected the complaint of the Olomouc Archbishopric against the Supreme Court verdict today. "After 350 years of the existence of the Kroměříž compound, the Flower Garden and Chateau Garden have been separated, they will continue to operate separately, at least from the legal perspective. From the heritage point of view, it is an unfortunate consequence of the state procedure," said a lawyer for the Archbishopric. The Kroměříž Baroque chateau and its two gardens were put on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1998.

The Flower Garden in Kroměříž is caught in an ownership dispute. (Photo: Wikimedia commons / Jitka Erbenová )
The Flower Garden in Kroměříž (Photo: Wikimedia commons / Jitka Erbenová )

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UKRAINE Czechia condemns Russian recognition of separatist republics

The Czech Foreign Ministry has condemned Russian Federation's decision to recognize the independence of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, it said in a statement released on its website Monday night. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said, "the unilateral recognition of two territories controlled by pro-Russian armed men is a gross violation of international law, territorial integrity of Ukraine, and a violation of the Minsk agreements."

Other representatives of the Czech government have also condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to deploy military forces into the Donbas republics which he announced Monday night, comparing it to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. The ministry said the Czech Republic will respond in unity with its allies. "We reaffirm our long-standing, principled support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders," it said.

The Czech Republic supports free and independent Ukraine and remembers from its own history that similar steps against sovereign neighboring states never lead to peace.

-Petr Fiala, Czech Prime Minister

ECONOMY Ukraine tensions trigger Prague stock dip

The index of the Prague Stock Exchange PX fell on Monday by 2.25 percent to 1402.41 points, representing the most significant daily decline since 2020, according to data from the stock exchange website. According to analysts, the cause of the decline is tension in relations between Russia and Ukraine. The koruna weakened slightly at the beginning of the week. Of the main stocks of the Prague Stock Exchange, the shares of Photon Energy recorded the most significant decline today. Their price fell by 4.43 percent to CZK 38.80.

Military B-52 bomber lands in Ostrava as part of NATO training flight

A U.S. B-52 Stratofortress landed at the Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport late Monday afternoon, a General Staff spokesperson told reporters. The landing was part of a training flight of NATO members' air forces over Central and Eastern Europe. The other aircraft continued on its route outside the Czech Republic, the spokesperson said. The bomber arrived in Mošnov from Poland. Following a three-hour pause, it continued across Germany back to its advanced base in Britain. Since 2018, over 200 similar flights have taken place in Europe, but stopovers are rare. The aircraft that made the stopover in Mošnov was not carrying any active arms systems.

Green living Over 80 electric chargers to be installed in Prague this year

In the Czech capital, chargers for electric cars will be installed in public lamposts this year. The charging station will appear on 82 posts. City councilor Jan Chabr announced the planned installation of the chargers Monday. The city aims to increase the number of chargers gradually in the future, which is why the municipality plans to replace and modernize more than 600 lamps this year. There are about 135,000 public lighting lamps in Prague. The municipality is cooperating with energy supplier Pražská energetika (PRE) to install the chargers. An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 electric cars are predicted in the Czech Republic in 2030, of which about a third will be in Prague.

Chocolate Iconic Czech candy bar changes color of character on wrapper

Czech candy maker Kofila has updated the color of its iconic Turk character from black to blue. A spokesperson for the company said: "The motif of the iconic packaging of the bar has been preserved. The Kofila bar is now made from 100% sustainably sourced cocoa, which was one of the reasons for the change. In addition to information on sustainable cocoa, we have also modified some small elements of the graphic profile on the packaging, which some consumers might perceive as inappropriate." Of the change, the company said that aside from rejecting inequality, the color blue is in step with the original Czech chocolate maker Orion's logo. The coffee-flavored bar launched on the Czech market in 1923. Its iconic wrapper was designed by acclaimed Czech painter and illustrator Zdeněk Rykr.

Do you agree with Kofila's recent update of its iconic chocolate bar wrapper?

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