In the Czech Republic on Wednesday, April 21, a new foreign Minister was appointed — he became Jakub Kulhanek. The official “becomes the head of Czech diplomacy in difficult times,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who introduced Kulganek to the public. In particular, the Prime Minister instructed the new minister to deal with the diplomatic conflict with the Russian Federation. In addition, the diplomat was ordered to “work more closely with the allies and the EU agenda”.
With regard to the diplomatic scandal with Russia-we recall that the countries exchanged “pleasantries” in the form of expelling diplomats, and the Czech Republic accused Russian diplomatic workers of blowing up a military warehouse — the new minister said that “he takes office with great humility and responsibility”, and added that he is ready to rely on his colleagues, “more experienced diplomats and officials”.
Kulhanek himself previously held the position of head of the security section in the Czech Foreign Ministry, was Deputy Minister of Defense, and since July 2018 — Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.
On his first working day as a minister, Kulganek summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Zmeevsky. “Kulganek will explain to Zmeevsky that the Czech Republic is dissatisfied with the Russian procedure for expelling employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said without further details.
The new minister was deputy to Tomas Petrsicek, who had been head of the Czech Foreign Ministry since 2018 but resigned on April 12. The Czech mass media claimed that the Czech president sought Petrsicek’s dismissal because of the diplomat’s position on the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The minister was between two fires: the leader of the Czech Republic adheres to a positive attitude to the Russian vaccine, and the European institutions on the contrary (although they do not officially prohibit countries from ordering the drug from the Russian Federation).