Czech politicians condemn Putin's call for mobilization

PM Fiala and several cabinet ministers call for increased support for Ukraine amid Russian partial mobilization, nuclear threats. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.09.2022 12:56:00 (updated on 21.09.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech politicians have condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for partial mobilization and have called for Prague and all of Europe to maintain its support for Ukraine as it fights against the Russian invasion.

Putin addressed the Russian public this morning on Russian public TV saying that the partial mobilization was a direct response to the West, which “wants to destroy our country” and “turn Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder,” according to the Guardian. The mobilization will mainly affect the Russian reservists and citizens with military experience.

Putin also spoke about nuclear retaliation, saying that Russia had “lots of weapons to reply” to Western threats on Russian territory and emphasized that he was not bluffing.

The mobilization starts immediately, Putin said. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would call in 300,000 reservists in the mobilization.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the mobilization is an attempt to further escalate the war that Russia started in Ukraine and more proof that Russia is the only aggressor.

"The aid for Ukraine is necessary, and we need to keep helping them in our own interest," Fiala said on Twitter.

Fiala added that European states agree on the need to continue providing Ukraine with humanitarian, military, and financial aid. "As the EU-presiding country, we want to co-initiate maintaining the united stance of the European states on the Russian aggression," Fiala said.

"European unity, which has not always been a matter-of-course, is our huge weapon and I think Vladimir Putin was surprised at how clearly the European states expressed their support for Ukraine and how unanimously we all adopted sanctions against Russia. These are steps that are necessary to keep. It means further support for Ukraine," Fiala added.

Fiala on Twitter also condemned the planned referendums that would see western regions in Ukraine voting to join the territory of Russia. He said they would not be recognized by EU member states and are a violation of the UN Charter and international law.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said that by ordering partial mobilization in Russia, Putin's lie about a "special operation" falls once and for all. "Putin simply leads a bloody war against Ukraine," Rakušan wrote on Twitter. "[Putin] must not and will not win. He will also lose the energy war he is leading against us as well as the whole of Europe," Rakušan said.

The Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted that the declaration of partial mobilization and pseudo-referendums in the occupied regions in Ukraine escalate Russia's imperial aggression and lead to more fatalities on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides.

"Claims that Russia is under threat is a lie. Ukraine is defending its territory and freedom from aggression," the ministry wrote.

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said referendums on joining Russia would represent a "flagrant violation of international law" for which Moscow must bear the consequences. According to Lipavský, this is just another attempt to "illegally annex" Ukrainian territory, similar to what happened in the case of Crimea in 2014. "We will never recognize these pseudo-referendums," Lipavský said.

Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said Putin's speech is mainly an attempt to maintain his position in the eyes of the Russians. The mobilization will not help because nothing implies there is anyone left to be mobilized in Russia anymore, she tweeted. The international community has known for a long time that Putin will send anyone available to Ukraine, including prisoners, Černochová said.

Černochová noted that nuclear-weapon threats were not expressed for the first time. "But Vladimir Putin is well aware that the West is much stronger than Russia and that it is fully prepared for all the alternatives," she added.

Czechia must keep supporting Ukraine, she added. "We have to send a clear message to Russia that we shall not be blackmailed and that it cannot break the international law, attack other countries and murder women and children like a terrorist," she said.

Chamber of Deputies foreign committee chairman Marek Ženíšek said Putin was "a complete madman that must be stopped right away."

"The partial mobilization is, hopefully, the start of his end. We must keep helping Ukraine. Massively. Whoever claims that the arms supplies escalate the conflict wants the criminal country Russia to win," Ženíšek added.

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