Czech President Zeman says Crimea belongs to Russia

The Black Sea peninsula of Crimea belongs to Russia, the Czech Republic's pro-Moscow President Milos Zeman reportedly said Friday.

"The world's top politicians already know now that Crimea cannot be returned to Ukraine," he said, according to a report from news portal Parlamentnilisty.cz.

Zeman added that former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev committed an act of "unforgivable stupidity" when he handed the peninsula to Ukraine in 1954.

Although the Czech Republic's president has been decidedly supportive of Russia, the country's centre-left government has refused to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka joined Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in voicing support for Ukraine's "sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Russia occupied and annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea region two years ago in response to Kiev ousting its pro-Russian president amid mass protests calling for closer ties with the West.

Soon after the annexation, a pro-Russian separatist rebellion erupted in Ukraine's two eastern-most regions. Ukraine has accused Russia of fuelling the conflict with weapons and soldiers for the separatists, allegations Moscow has denied.

Last update: Fri, 09/09/2016 - 19:26
Author: 

More from Europe

Armed robbery at Paris travel agency ends without casualties

An armed robbery on Friday at a Paris travel agency has ended without casualties.

Iceland president asks Pirate Party to attempt to form government

Iceland's president on Friday gave the leader of the anti-establishment Pirate Party the task of forming the next...

Italy referendum campaign ends amid claims of postal vote fraud

Italy's political leaders entered their final hours of campaigning on Friday in a constitutional referendum whose...

Gate stolen from former Nazi concentration camp "found" in Norway

German police are investigating whether a gate bearing the sign "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) that was...

Germany pledges additional 50 million euros in aid as Aleppo crumbles

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged 50 million euros (53.2 million dollars) in aid to the war-...