Prague/Washington, Sept 26 (CTK) – “The current and potential future leadership of the Czech Republic threatens and endangers U.S. interests and the NATO defense agenda in the region,” Colonel Wesley Martin wrote in a commentary for the Independent Journal Review (IJR) on Monday.
“Czech President Milos Zeman, the ANO ruling party, and (former) finance minister Andrej Babis have ties that bind them to Russia. They are pro-Russia and pro-Putin in their interests and behaviors,” Martin writes.
“The Kremlin may be using Czech leaders as tools to influence the current political situation in their country, and Czech leaders are accepting Russia’s and Putin’s influence with open arms,” he says.
Martin points out connections of Czech leaders to Russia saying that Zeman is a friend of Vladimir Yakunin, a retired Russian KGB general and the former head of Russian Railways, while Babis, who is suspected of being a former agent of the Czechoslovak StB communist police and possibly the KGB, owns companies that consume Russian gas and has engaged in Russian-style corporate raiding.
He says “Russia is trying to weaken Western influence in central and eastern Europe through the Czech Republic leaders, to neutralize and damage a country that is a NATO and E.U. member.”
“Both Zeman and Babis surrounded themselves with shady businessmen connected to Russia and China, who may be the conduits for Moscow’s and Beijing’s influence in the heart of Europe. Such activities are deeply disturbing, as they cast the rule of law in the Czech Republic in a very dim light. Legal prosecutions are politicized, as Zeman’s and Babis’s political adversaries are targeted,” the commentary writes.
“The United States should start taking proactive steps to protect its interests in central Europe, as the security situation with Russia gets worse every day. America and its allies must watch what occurs in the Czech Republic to address potential threats and prevent similar developments elsewhere. The corrupt practices of Zeman and Babis cannot be ignored. It’s time that we focused on Russia’s effort to restore the Soviet sphere of influence in central Europe, starting with the Czech Republic, its president, and its soon-to-be elected Prime Minister,” says Martin.
IJR is an Internet server established by Alex Skatell, a businessman who was previously active in media organisations of the US Republicans. The editor’s office, which is based in Alexandria, near Washington, D.C., produces news and entertainment targeted at centre-right Americans.
Wesley Martin is a retired U.S. army colonel who served as a terrorism expert during the war in Iraq and also worked in the Information Operations of the U.S. Defence Department.