Posted: 6:06 pm PDT
Updated: April 6, 2015, 9:17 am PDT
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Sputnik News says that military parades will be held in 26 Russian cities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Victory over the Nazis in World War II. “Czech Republic Milos Zeman will visit Moscow in May to take part in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, according to the presidential spokesperson.
The Prague Post reported that at the end of March, U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Andrew Schapiro told the public broadcaster Czech Television (ČT) that while in Moscow, Czech President Miloš Zeman could be the only leading representative of an EU country, which might be somewhat precarious. Apparently, among EU countries, only the top representatives of Cyprus and Greece will go to Moscow for this celebration. “A number of Western politicians have decided to boycott the Moscow celebrations due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.” Ambassador Schapiro reportedly also said that it was not his task to tell the Czech president what to do or not to do.
That was the end of March. On April 5, the Czech President reportedly cited what the American ambassador said on Czech Television (ČT) and declared that “the doors of the castle were closed” to Ambassador Schapiro.
“I cannot imagine that the Czech ambassador in Washington would advise the US president where he should travel. And I will not allow any ambassador to have a say in my foreign travel plans.”
Czech President Milos Zeman says US ambassador is not welcome at his Prague Castle residence http://t.co/5lYE1WL6ec
— BBC News US (@BBCNewsUS) April 5, 2015
Here is Prague Castle, the official residence and office of the President of the Czech Republic.
#Prague is the proud owner of Prague Castle, spanning over 18 acres! (See lowest fares here: http://t.co/d99a4ehSA0) pic.twitter.com/C9NT97Ugvc — Air France ZA (@AirFranceZA) March 19, 2015
MT @euobs: Milos Zeman: #Putin‘s ally in Prague Castle by @KacaSaf https://t.co/f7FKZkXjMf — Visegrad Insight (@VisegradInsight) February 16, 2015
That was March, this is now April. Did something else happen? Why yes. According to the Economist, “neither rain nor sleet nor snow, to quote the American postal service’s motto, have kept Czechs from lining the routes followed by three American military convoys through their country over the past few days.”
Operation Dragoon Ride saw units from the United States Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment travel through the Czech Republic from March 29th to April 1st, the final stretch of an 1,800km jaunt through six eastern NATO countries.
Czechs welcome US army convoy despite #Zeman‘s support for Russia http://t.co/fv62Z92o9A @milann_sk @MartinCZV4EU @wprzybylski — Visegrad Insight (@VisegradInsight) April 1, 2015
Sign of times? Operation Dragoon Ride, underway now, is longest movement the US Army in Europe since 1944. http://t.co/vjwHBHQatV
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 30, 2015
In any case, Ambassador Schapiro did not even know that he’s been banned from the Prague
Palace Castle. The Czechs have been sounding off on Twitter, with some apologizing for their president and others saying their houses are open for the ambassador.
I’m in the U.S. for the holiday weekend. I wake up, turn on computer, and see that a lot happened while I was asleep! #GladITurnedMyPhoneOff
— Andrew Schapiro (@AndySchapiro) April 5, 2015
Click here for photos of hundreds of Czechs who welcomed 15 commanders of the U.S. army convoy and Ambassador Schapiro, as they laid flowers and wreaths to the Thank You America Memorial in Plzen a week ago.
My door remains open to President & all Czech people. Links to my statement (Czech & English): http://t.co/GbAZHoZ5yc http://t.co/dfx7LBYlIv
— Andrew Schapiro (@AndySchapiro) April 6, 2015
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