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English Pages, 7. 5. 2014
Many thanks for organizing this gathering. We – who came to Budapest and prepared our contributions to this important and much needed project – are personally motivated in preserving a correct understanding of the unique and unrepeatable era after the fall of communism. We are already one generation away from it. To our great regret, the permanently ongoing political disputes in our countries are very often based on a caricature of this historic era.
English Pages, 6. 5. 2014
Many thanks for the invitation. I almost don’t remember when I spoke here, in Budapest, last time in a private capacity, not being on a formal state visit.
It may be partly a personal problem because I entered politics in the moment of the Czechoslovak-Hungarian dispute about Gabčíkovo-Nagyamaros Danube dam project and I dared interpreting it as one of the conflicts between green ideology and rational thinking which was not very popular in Hungary at that time.
English Pages, 28. 4. 2014
Thank you for inviting me to come here, thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this audience which was put together by the Zürich Business Club. I highly appreciate it.
My long-lasting interest in Switzerland has been recently raised by the referendum you organized about immigration at the beginning of this year, and, perhaps even more, by the EU reaction to it. On the one hand, I have to admit that this reaction was expected by many of us.
English Pages, 22. 4. 2014
Introduction: The difficult heritage of the past
The state of Ukraine today is a sad outcome of Stalin's attempts to mix up nations and boundaries, disrupt natural historical ties and create a new Soviet man by turning original nations into mere ethnic residua and historical leftovers. Taking it into consideration is the starting point of our thinking, something that is sadly missing in the political debates today.
English Pages, 5. 3. 2014
1. In our public statement from February 21, we noted that “allowing a clash about the future of Ukraine and leading a fight about its orientation towards West or East ignores reality. It leads the country into an insolvable conflict that cannot have but a tragic ending… Giving Ukraine a choice between East or West means breaking it. This is, unfortunately, what seems to be happening.” We had no idea that our instincts and worries would come true so quickly, in just ten days.
English Pages, 27. 2. 2014
Ladies and Gentleman,
Many thanks for giving me a chance to address this distinguished audience on such an interesting topic. I want to declare at the very beginning that I don´t pretend to be an expert on federalism or regionalism and that I don´t have any strong views about the rationality and legitimacy of creating or breaking up the existing states, about the secession of regions, provinces or nations, about the separation of countries or other similar topics.
English Pages, 25. 2. 2014
1. The Ukraine is in its present form into a great extent an artificial entity that did not turn into an independent state until the break-up of the Soviet Union two decades ago.
2. On one hand, it includes territories in the west that had never belonged to the Russian empire (Transcarpathian region, Galicia and others) and became part of Russia only after WW2, and on the other hand territories that were from the 18th century purely Russian (Crimea, Odessa, the Eastern part of the country), for which the independence of the Ukraine meant the extraction from their original nation.
English Pages, 21. 2. 2014
The Czech people fully respect the use of one of the most important aspects of the Swiss constitutional system, of people´s referendum and don´t feel they have any right to comment on its results – regardless the topic. It would be unproductive to a priori restrict the range of questions which could be raised in a referendum. We should not accept the ruinous effects of the currently so fashionable wave of political correctness.
English Pages, 19. 2. 2014
Many thanks for bringing me back to Copenhagen and for offering me the very pleasant opportunity to address this – hopefully friendly – audience. Friendly, because – due to my notoriety among euro-enthusiasts and euro-naivists – I suppose that no one who comes here is unaware of what he or she may expect to hear.
English Pages, 15. 2. 2014
Mrs. Director-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for bringing me back to St. Petersburg. Last time I was here as President of the Czech Republic attending the 300th anniversary of the founding of your great city. Thank you for awarding me with the International Leontief Medal which was given to several important Russian and international scholars, some of them my good friends, in the last couple of years.
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