Self-determination, change of borders "road to hell"

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has strongly condemned the referendum on independence of Crimea, held on Sunday.

Izvor: Beta

Wednesday, 19.03.2014.

12:51

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Self-determination, change of borders "road to hell"

"The idea that we will organize a referendum about borders based on ethnic minorities that live there is hellish, not only for Europe but also for other parts of the world. In the end, it could break up Russia itself. It's a hellish machine that could have dire consequences and completely destroy the security and peace in Europe," he told the Prague daily Pravo.

The Czech minister is described as having been "among the strong opponents" of NATO's 1999 war against Serbia over Kosovo. Regarding the parallels between Crimea and Kosovo drawn by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zaoralek, whose country recognized the Serbian province as independent, stressed that it was important "what Putin does, not what he says."

"From Putin's speech I have the impression that he wants to rebuild Russia as an empire, he never acknowledged independence of the former states of the Soviet Union when he said that the regions were taken from Russia. It's possible that he is getting ready to do in those areas the same as in Crimea, and that is very dangerous thing," said the minister.

He also warned about "the alarming enthusiasm that Putin is causing by part of the extreme right in Europe."

"Nationalist parties in Europe react to Putin's theses, enthusiastically citing the words about self-determination. For example, in Hungary the far right believes that Putin is its 'guru' because he formulates ideas that they were afraid to pronounce," Zaoralek told the Prague daily.

In its report, the Czech agency ČTK quoted the minister as saying that Putin "started something that will become a road to hell."

"If everyone starts speaking about the right to self-determination and referenda will decide on state borders, this will be an unimaginable and absurd world," said Zaoralek .

"The rhetoric used by Putin is not of major interest. It is substantial that he has set into motion something that is immensely dangerous," he added.

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