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Právo: Czech Defence Ministry may violate anti-Russian sanctions

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Prague, April 11 (CTK) – The Czech Defence Ministry has allegedly violated the EU anti-Russian sanctions in the sphere of trading in military equipment, but it has flatly denied this, daily Pravo writes today, referring to reporter Monika Le Fay.

“The Czech state-owned company LOM Praha has deliberately and consciously violated the sanctions,” Le Fay, from the television station, said.

“It signed three contracts on the repair of helicopters, cooperation in the repair of machines and delivery of spare parts,” Le Fay said.

“LOM has also issued a certificate of the final user with a stamp of the Defence Ministry and signature of First Deputy Defence Minister Tomas Kuchta for the first of the contracts,” Pravo quotes her as saying.

“Kuchta also complied with a demand of the Russian partner that he should have his signature verified at the Russian embassy in Prague,” she added.

The sanctions were violated not only by the company, but also by the Defence Ministry, Le Fay said.

Defence Ministry spokesman Petr Medek said on Monday evening that the allegations broadcast by the television station were nonsense.

“We definitely did not deliver anything to Russia, but we bought spare parts for the helicopters, for which an exception from the sanctions is valid,” Medek said, adding that he would elaborate on Tuesday.

The Defence Ministry, that administers LOM Praha, told the allegations are absurd, Pravo writes.

The EU imposed the sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Czech Republic joined them, although President Milos Zeman would like to lift them.

The sanctions cover not only the sale and transfer of goods and technologies that may be used for military purposes by Russia.

The ban also applies to the provision of technological assistance or mediating services for dual use goods that might be used for military purposes, Pravo writes.

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