Czech minister summons Russian ambassador over Crimea

Czech minister summons Russian ambassador over Crimea

PRAGUE - Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Sunday he had summoned the Russian ambassador over Moscow's decision to send troops to Ukraine's Crimea region.

"I will meet him at 1300 GMT today (to tell him that)... if this is the beginning of an invasion to occupy Crimea, it's something with which we have rich experience and we can't agree with it," he said in a debate on the public Czech TV.

"There is no way out of the situation but diverse pressure that will persuade Russian officials to abstain from this solution," Zaoralek said, adding he was not considering recalling the Czech ambassador to Moscow right now.

On Saturday, Zaoralek and Czech President Milos Zeman likened Russia's moves in Crimea to the Soviet-led 1968 occupation of former Czechoslovakia which crushed a widespread democratic reform movement in the country, claiming over 100 lives.

Czechoslovakia shed communist rule in 1989, four years before it split peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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