The Czech Republic continues to aggravate relations with Russia. Another unfriendly step was the decision not to issue visas and temporary residence permits to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus until March 2023. The corresponding decision was made by the government of the country at the suggestion of the Czech Foreign Ministry.
“The decision taken after February 24 of this year to ban the issuance of visas to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus to enter the Czech Republic, as well as permits for a long stay in the republic, will be valid until the end of March 2023,” the media reported, citing the press service of the Foreign Policy departments.
The purpose of this measure in Prague is called the protection of foreign policy interests, ensuring the security of the Czech Republic, as well as the desire to put pressure on the Russian and Belarusian authorities to end the special military operation in Ukraine.
Officials decided to make an exception only for humanitarian cases. In addition, citizens of Russia and Belarus who already have a residence permit will be able to apply for its renewal.
Thus, the once very popular country among Russian tourists will be closed for travelers with passports of the Russian Federation and Belarus for at least another year. In addition to numerous attractions, balneological resorts such as Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne also attracted attention. All this brought considerable income to the Czech budget.
However, in the face of problems with air traffic and the constant introduction of anti-Russian sanctions, trips to the Czech Republic from Russia and Belarus were practically reduced to zero. Considering the economic situation in the country, which is becoming more complicated every day, such decisions of the Czech authorities cause only bewilderment.
As noted Associate Professor of the Department of Political Theory of MGIMO Kirill Koktyshsuch decisions of the Czech Republic are connected with the fact that “it is in command.”
– A very clear principle always works here – the elites enter into an agreement, receive bonuses, or vice versa, they are given conditions regarding the preservation of their money, which is in the West, and the rest of the country pays for it. In this regard, the Czech elites demonstrate their complete control and, by and large, pay for this with the country’s economy.
“SP”: – How long can this trend continue in the Czech Republic, given the fact that not all countries follow this path?
– In the Czech Republic, this is necessary, because nothing works in Hungary.
“SP”: – It’s no secret that many Russians bought real estate in the Czech Republic, but now these investments are under threat. Will the fashion for the so-called nationalization of everything that belongs to the Russians reach the Czech Republic and how soon?
Do you mean confiscation? Of course it will. It is clear that, as with Lithuania, the Big West will be the initiator. It is another question that this will not bring the effect they are counting on – a split in society and power. On the contrary, it will bring negative feelings towards the West of those people who had the imprudence to invest in it.
“SP”: – If the seizure of property of Russians in the Czech Republic takes on a massive character, will Russia be able to respond with something?
– Strategically, the degree of interdependence between Europe and Russia is much higher than Europe believes. Of course it will have an effect. Russia could have brought Europe to its knees long ago if it had acted more harshly with regard to gas.
Another question, as practice shows, Europe today is catastrophically non-subjective. Even with Lithuania, which is ready to cancel the signed agreement, this was done with the knowledge of the European Union.
In fact, the European Union thereby declares that its written documents have no weight and cannot be trusted. This means that further communication with Europe will be possible only as with an object, as with a dependent territory, which has no political responsibility and can only negotiate on conditions of sufficiently strict control of the situation by Russia.
Do not count on a quick resumption of trips to the Czech Republic and tourists, believes First Vice-President of ATOR Vladimir Kantorovich.
– Tourism suffers, first of all, from the lack of air traffic. There are few direct flights today, and now the main question is to get there.
People who desperately need to get to the Czech Republic can do this through another Schengen country, with some other Schengen visa.