Russia’s aggression against Ukraine act of neo-colonialism – Kozák

Russia’s aggression and invasion of Ukraine is an act of neo-colonialism, Mr Jiri Kozák, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic, has said.

He noted that the invasion had ravaged many economies across the globe as cost of food, gas and other goods kept rising.

First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times, yesterday during his official visit to Ghana, said the Czech Republic and the EU could not look on while Russia destroyed Ukraine by killing innocent women and children.

Mr Kozák, who held meetings with some Ghanaian officials to discuss issues of common interests- healthcare, business, energy, democracy and the economy, said it was Czech’s moral obligation to help Ukraine to defend itself. 

He said: “Russia invaded Ukraine, which is an act of neo-colonialism. Russia is trying to be a colonial power invading a sovereign country, and we must stop this because it is very close to the borders of our country. It is very close to borders of European Union and we cannot just look how one country is killing women and children in one independent country.”

Mr Kozak stated that:”This is our moral obligation to help Ukraine defend itself. Ukraine is not offending, it is defending and our moral obligation is to help.”

When asked about EU’s over reliance on Russia for gas and other products and the need for EU to produce its own gas, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the EU was seeking to strengthen its partnership with Africa “because some African countries can provide gas to the EU.”

Mr Kozak said “the Russian aggression had taught us that we cannot rely on supply from a totalitarian regime because it can collapse easily like we see it with Russia.”

When asked about how the war had affected the economy of Czech and the diplomatic relations between Russia and Czech, he stated that the relationship between the two countries had been on ice for some time over the killing of Czech citizens by Russian “terrorists” in Czech.

On the impact of the war on the economy of Czech, MrKozak said that apart from rising inflation, Czech had the largest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita and the third in total after Poland and Germany.

“Czech Republic has the largest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita and we are third in total after Poland and Germany and we have to help these people because their policies are being destroyed by Russian soldiers,” he explained.

The First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister said the government of Czech Republic provided the need of these refugees, including housing, education, jobs and money.

Touching on priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022, he said the country was looking at post pandemic recovery, Russian aggression and stabilisation of the Sahel region in Africa.

On terrorism in Africa, MrKozák said that Czech troops were working together with Malian forces to bring peace in the destabilised West African country.

But, more importantly, he said that Czech was working with other countries in preventing and combatting terrorism.

Mr Kozák stated that his country was keen on establishing long term partnership in telecommunication, healthcare, economy, energy, innovation, strengthening democracy and building peaceful, just and fair society with developing countries. 

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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