Czech President Rebukes US Envoy over Victory Day Remarks
Czech President Milos Zeman has harshly criticized US Ambassador Andrew Schapiro after the latter commented on the head of state's decision to visit Russia on May 9.
Most European leaders have said they will boycot Victory Day celebrations in Moscow commemorating the 70th anniversary since World War Two ended in 1945.
Czech President Zeman and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are the only ones who have announced they would like to attend.
But the US Ambassador to Prague cast his doubt last week whether Zeman's decision is the right one.
"I will not let any ambassador sneak into my plans of foreign trips... I am afraid that after the statement, Schapiro's door to the Prague Castle [Zeman's residency] is closed," the Prague Post quotes the President as saying.
He has added he cannot imagine a Czech ambassador in Washington "giving advice to the US President on where he should travel."
Zeman has repeatedly come under fire in Europe by allegedly maintaining closer ties with the Russian leadership than other leaders, a claim he dismisses.
An official of one the Czech Republic's government parties has described his reaction as "unnecessarily inflamatory".
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
Ambassador Schapiro, who is currently in the US, reacted on Twitter, saying "a lot happened" while he was asleep.
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