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Last week’s decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children has been welcomed by leading Czech politicians. Against the backdrop of a meeting of justice ministers in London this Monday, Czechia’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský argued for …
 
Since taking over as UK ambassador to Prague in January, Matt Field has, with skilful use of social media and visible eagerness to learn, quickly established himself as one of the best-known diplomats in the country. But how has he actually been finding life in the Czech capital? And what are his priorities as London’s man in Prague? They are just …
 
Czech President Pavel has signed into law a controversial government proposal to reduce the indexation of old age pensions in June of this year. At the same time, he said the procedure by which it has been pushed through Parliament was dubious and the law’s validity should be assessed by the Constitutional Court.…
 
Following Petr Pavel’s inauguration as Czechia’s new head of state, the president’s office chief Jana Vohralíková, also assumed her post at Prague Castle. What changes is she planning? And will the castle become more accessible to the general public during Petr Pavel’s presidency?
 
Ties between Czechia and Taiwan have been significantly strengthened over the past several years. The Central European state has arguably become one of the continent’s pioneers in expanding relations with Taiwan, despite threats from Beijing. This month will see the largest Czech delegation yet travel to Taipei. It will be led by the speaker of the…
 
Retired general Petr Pavel was officially sworn into office as president of the Czech Republic on Thursday. The ceremony, which took place at Prague Castle, is part of a wider programme of inaugural events that will also see the new head of state pray in the Cathedral of Saint Vitus and greet members of the assembled public.…
 
Petr Pavel has just been sworn in as the new Czech head of state. While the president’s role in the Czech political system is largely symbolic, the way he communicates and presents himself to the public is all the more important, says expert on strategic communication Denisa Hejlová. I spoke to her just a few hours before Pavel’s inauguration to di…
 
Wednesday will see Miloš Zeman step down after 10 years as Czech head of state. But where does Mr. Zeman stand among the major figures of post-1989 Czech politics? And what will his legacy as president be? I discussed those questions with Dr. Sean Hanley of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.…
 
Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries with a very high rate of migration. According to statistics from the Czech NGO People in Need, four people leave Moldova every hour for a better life abroad. The post-Soviet republic, located between Romania and Ukraine, is one of the six priority countries for Czech development cooperation, which focuse…
 
Gift for Putin has been one of the most active Czech civic groups providing direct support to Ukraine. Its best-known project has been a collection for a tank named Tomáš, which won international headlines. Now – as well as organising a concert in Prague on Saturday – it has begun a collection for Přemysl, a rocket launcher. Gift for Putin’s Jan Po…
 
On the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we look at how the event activated both the Czech state and society towards providing military, humanitarian and political aid for the war-stricken country – and how in turn Ukraine’s resistance inspired many Czechs do go the extra mile in their response.…
 
The Czech government is facing a major battle in the lower house over a bill which would reduce the indexation of old-age pensions. While the cabinet argues the need to economize, the opposition says the government is hurting the most vulnerable group in society at time of “brutal inflation”.
 
The Zaporizhzhia Regional Youth Centre in Ukraine is one of the largest youth centres in Europe and has served as a volunteer headquarters since the outbreak of the war. The centre also received support from the Czech NGO People in Need and was visited recently by our reporter Daniel Ordonez.
 
A series of events, organised by the NGO People in Need, will take place in Prague this week to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They will include a video mapping on the building of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as special film screenings and an exhibition documenting the war month-by-month.…
 
In a forthright speech on Tuesday, the head of the Czech Army said that if there were a war between NATO and Russia, the Czechs would immediately become active participants. Karel Řehka told the country’s top brass that preparations must be made now for such a possibility.
 
The government should this week consider proposals from the Foreign Ministry to terminate treaties allowing Russia free rent of land on which Russian-owned buildings stand in Czechia. The Czech side are also seeking rents paid for the use of such properties. I discussed the matter with Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Dvořák, first asking how Russia …
 
“Continued support for Ukraine for as long as the war lasts” was the main message to come out of the Munich security conference last weekend. However, the Czech president-elect Petr Pavel stressed that Russia’s defeat could happen under various scenarios, including some that the West should try to avoid.…
 
The new American ambassador to Czechia, Bijan Sabet, said this week that supporting US firm Westinghouse’s bid to construct a new nuclear bloc at the Dukovany power station is a priority for his embassy. Two other bidders, from South Korea and France, are in the running. I discussed the US Embassy’s plans with journalist Daniel Anýž, an expert on C…
 
Prague got a new lord mayor on Thursday, with Bohuslav Svoboda starting his second term as head of the city council. Critics question whether the Civic Democrat, who is 79, will be able to devote all his energies to the role, given his other positions.
 
Prague representatives of the Together coalition, the Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents signed a coalition agreement on Wednesday, which outlines the form of their cooperation for the next four years of the city’s administration. The signing follows five months of tough negotiations.
 
“After the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia we always rooted for the Czech hockey team” the Israeli ambassador to Czechia, Anna Azari, says in an interview for Radio Prague International. Azari is a seasoned diplomat with a special interest in Central and Eastern Europe. She was posted to Prague in 2021, to what she calls “the friendliest…
 
Following his failed presidential bid, Andrej Babiš announced on Wednesday that he will remain the leader of the ANO party as well as an MP, but will step away from active leadership. Deputy chairs Karel Havlíček and Alena Schillerová will become the “main faces” of Czechia’s largest opposition party in Czechia. I discussed Mr. Babiš’s move with po…
 
Agriculture, water and education are three of the main areas where Czechia cooperates with Ethiopia on development. While just under a third of the country’s inhabitants live below the poverty line and more than half are illiterate, the population is growing fast. Aside from the problems this situation brings with it, such as unemployment and defor…
 
President-elect Petr Pavel made international news this week by phoning the president of Taiwan – and later saying Czechia would no longer act “like an ostrich” toward China. What is behind these moves? And what’s next for relations between Prague and the world’s most populous state? I discussed Mr. Pavel’s call to Taiwan and more with Ivana Karásk…
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the six countries which the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently focussing on in its development cooperation programmes. Due to its linguistic and cultural proximity to the Balkan state, Czechia has been developing close partnerships there since the 1990s and has also been supporting it in its preparations…
 
After a divisive and sometimes bitter campaign, Petr Pavel beat Andrej Babiš by a decisive margin in the Czech presidential elections at the weekend. The future head of state now says he intends to listen to voters across the political spectrum – but does not wish to appear on postage stamps.
 
Hundreds of supporters thronged Petr Pavel’s election headquarters in Prague on Saturday. The mood was upbeat when the very first counted districts gave him an instant lead in the presidential election – and euphoric as it became ever clearer he was going to win. I spoke to some of the well-known personalities in attendance.…
 
Czechs assessed President Miloš Zeman’s ten-year performance in the country’s top post with an average 4 on a five point scale, the equivalent of a "D" in the Western school grading system, according to the results of a survey conducted by NMS Market Research.
 
Since the first round of the presidential elections, many Czech liberals have expressed indignation at the language of candidate Andrej Babiš, with the billionaire ANO leader attempting to depict opponent Petr Pavel, a former head of the army, as a “warmonger”. But given that the bookies make Mr. Pavel favourite, isn’t there a certain logic to Mr. …
 
Right after coming second in round one of elections to the Czech presidency, Andrej Babiš attacked his rival for the post, Petr Pavel, referring to the latter’s alleged communist-era intelligence training. Mr. Babiš later released billboards implying the former army chief could lead Czechs to war. But how likely is this aggressive approach to succe…
 
John F. Kotouc is the Co-CEO and Co-Chair of the American National Bank for the midwestern region of the United States. Descended from a family of Czech immigrants to Nebraska, he is also a member of the American Friends of the Czech Republic. He recently visited Radio Prague International’s studios and spoke to us, among other things, about the or…
 
Monday saw ANO party leader and presidential candidate Andrej Babiš acquitted of fraud charges in connection to the so-called Stork’s Nest case, with the judge ruling that it cannot be proven any of the defendants had acted criminally. I asked political commentator Jiří Pehe whether the acquittal will strengthen the former prime minister’s chances …
 
Among those taking part in elections for the next president, which begin on Friday, will be many thousands of Czechs living abroad. With postal ballots not an option, registered voters need to travel to a Czech embassy or consulate and cast their ballots in person. Jan Pěnkava, who has been living in Derby, England for eight years, says he is plann…
 
2022 was a very busy year for the Czech minister of foreign affairs, Jan Lipavský. He became a major supporter of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country in February, regularly calling out Moscow’s aggression in forthright language. The issue of the war was also key during the Czech presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half …
 
Demand is falling and the economy is headed for recession according to the head of the Czech National Bank Aleš Michl. Meanwhile, the IMF’s chief Kristalina Georgieva has said that half of the European Union will experience a recession in 2023. So is a recession coming and how hard will Czechia be hit? Those are some of the questions I put to Cyrru…
 
Monday saw no fewer than nine former Czech prime ministers attend a special dinner hosted by the country’s current head of government, Petr Fiala. The get together was organised on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of independent Czech and Slovak republics. A special concert, attended by Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Hege…
 
Days after it ended, cabinet members publicly assessed Czechia’s presidency of the European Union on Tuesday. The Europe minister said the country’s success during six months at the helm of the EU had surprised fellow members – and improved its international image.
 
Things will not be easy this year, but Czechia will handle it. That was a key message from the prime minister’s New Year’s address to the nation on Sunday night. Petr Fiala also praised Czechs’ solidarity with Ukraine and said the Russian invasion intensified the need for defence spending.
 
Czechia’s six-month presidency of the European Union is slowly coming to a close. Petr Fiala’s cabinet took over the role at a challenging moment, with Russia still waging war against Ukraine and energy prices rocketing. So what have been the main achievements of the Czech presidency? That’s a question I put to Filip Nerad, head of the internationa…
 
With only weeks to go until the elections, a new poll suggests the three frontrunners in elections for the Czech presidency are neck and neck. For ages it seemed it would be a battle between Andrej Babiš and Petr Pavel, but recently Danuše Nerudová has emerged as a serious contender. How has she achieved this surge? I spoke to political scientist P…
 
A new street dedicated to the late Czech president, dissident and playwright Václav Havel was unveiled in Luxembourg on Tuesday. The ceremony, marking a symbolic end to the Czech presidency of the EU Council, was attended by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel.…
 
EU foreign ministers are presently meeting in Brussels to debate a ninth package of sanctions against Russia proposed by the European Commission. Helping to reaching broad agreement on the proposal is the last important foreign policy task for the Czech presidency before it hands over the lead role to Sweden at the end of this year.…
 
In the coming months, Czechia will employ thousands of experts from Ukraine in its arms manufacturing industry, thanks to a deal struck between Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting the pair had in October.
 
Ukrainian soldiers have begun training here in Czechia, days after the country’s legislators approved such a move. Meanwhile, the country’s commitment to helping the country is reflected in a report that one Czech factory is producing a tank every four days for Ukraine.
 
After five years, British ambassador Nick Archer’s time in Prague is now coming to an end. In an interview on the eve of his departure, the career diplomat discusses a wide range of subjects. These include the joys of having exclusive use of a Malá Strana palace during lockdown, lobbying for the expulsion of Russian diplomats and how his teenage so…
 
Nine people are in the running to succeed Miloš Zeman as Czech president in elections in January, after fulfilling the necessary criteria. Three, Petr Pavel, Danuše Nerudová and Karel Diviš, collected 50,000 signatures, while the remainder secured the backing of legislators. But, now the field has officially been declared, who are the candidates?…
 
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