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Activists protest opening of Donetsk People’s Republic consulate in Ostrava

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Ostrava, North Moravia, Sept 1 (CTK) – Protests accompanied the opening of the representation centre of the Donetsk People’s Republic in Ostrava yesterday, and the Foreign Ministry said the centre cannot be considered a diplomatic mission as the Czech Republic does not recognise the Donetsk republic.
That is also why an honorary consul of this self-proclaimed state cannot operate in the Czech Republic either, the ministry said, reacting to Nela Liskova, who heads the new centre and presents herself as an honorary consul.
The Foreign Ministry said it will ask the Ostrava Regional Court to outlaw the grouping that is behind the establishment of the Donetsk “representation centre.”
A protest against the centre was organised by ten activists from the Kaputin group.
“It is a big event of Russian propaganda and a spectacle. They establish consulates of non-existing countries that arose through violence and occupation. They celebrate the event and even invite Czech deputies to it, which meets with no reaction. This amounts to a failure of the Czech state and democratic regime,” said one of the protesters, Otakar van Gemund.
He said it was a mistake that the police did not intervene.
“It is unbelievable that a lady can present herself as an honorary consul here…In any normal country, she would have been long summoned by the police to give an explanation, and this event could not have taken place,” van Gemund said.
Liskova said she visited the Donetsk republic, declared by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, repeatedly in the past and felt touched by the war conflict there.
“During my visits, we established bilateral relations with the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic and after a series of negotiations we…decided to extend our cooperation and thus strengthen mutual relations between the Czech Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Liskova said.
She repeatedly emphasised that she supports the Donetsk republic’s independence and sovereignty.
She dismissed accusations of backing terrorism.
“I want to emphasise that the representation centre of the Donetsk People’s Republic neither has nor will ever have anything in common with support for terrorism, which, in consequence of migrant policy, cannot be said about our [Czech] government,” Liskova said.
She said she is aware that the Donetsk republic has not been internationally recognised but said she firmly believes it will be one day.
The “people’s republics” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions separated from Ukraine last year. They have their own constitutions that were declared by their self-proclaimed parliaments after an independence referendum.
In early June, leaders of the two republics presented their draft amendment to the Ukrainian constitution that defines a large autonomy of the rebel zones of Donetsk and Luhansk but describes them as an inseparable part of Ukraine.

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