Czech Republic–Russia relations

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Czech Republic-Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Czech Republic and Russia

Czech Republic

Russia

Czech Republic–Russia relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between the Czech Republic and Russia. While the bilateral trade between the countries reaches billions of US dollars per year, the relations are also shaped by Czech Republic's membership in NATO and the European Union.

The Czech Republic has an embassy in Moscow, and two consulates general (in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg). The Russian Federation has an embassy in Prague, and two consulate generals in (Brno and Karlovy Vary).

History[edit]

During the entire medieval period and early modern period, the Czech lands, in the form of Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia, were aligned with the Holy Roman Empire and later Austrian Empire. During the first half of the 20th century, Czech-Russian relations were formalized as Czechoslovakia–Soviet Union relations.

After World War II, when Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over the control of the country through a Soviet-backed 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became part of the Eastern Bloc though Warsaw Pact with Soviet Union and eastern and central European socialist countries. The relations were good (because Czechoslovakian Communist Party obeyed all orders from Moscow) until August 21, 1968, when the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia occurred. 108 Czechoslovaks died and approximately 500 were wounded as a direct result of the invasion. The invasion stopped the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from making democratic and liberal reforms, and politicians loyal to Moscow gained control again. This damaged relations between the two countries. After Velvet Revolution, dissolution of the Soviet Union, and division of the Czechoslovakia, both Czech Republic and Slovakia later joined the NATO.

The present day relations between the two countries are at their best, and many agreements have been signed. Russia also has further reduced its oil deliveries to the Czech Republic. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

As of 2011, Czech Republic-Russian Federation relations were at a good level. On December 7, 2011, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev visited Prague, to sign economic contracts and cultural exchange. Both countries consider each other as an important economic partner.

Trade and economy[edit]

Bilateral trade between the Czech Republic and Russia was USD 11.7 billion in 2014, but declined following the 2014 international sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis.[1]

Public opinion[edit]

While economic were good prior to the 2014 sanctions, and the Czech Republic is a common tourist destination for Russians, the Czech people themselves tend to be distrustful of Russia due to the 1968 invasion, and tend to have a negative opinion of Russians.[2]

Controversies[edit]

In its 2007 report the Czech counter-intelligence warned that espionage activity in the Czech Republic has currently reached an extremely high level and intensity. Russian secret services have worked to influence public opinion in various fields. They have also sought sensitive information on the Czech economy and contacts with politicians and state officials.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]