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Zeman: US ambassador’s anti-corruption fight amounts to hypocrisy

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Prague, July 3 (CTK) – U.S. ambassador Andrew Schapiro’s fight against corruption in the Czech Republic amounts to hypocrisy, Czech President Milos Zeman told the Parlamentni listy server yesterday, adding that Schapiro gained the diplomatic post as a reward for having sponsored President Barack Obama’s campaign.
This is a certain type of corruption, Zeman said.
“We do not consider sponsorship to be corruption. However, we can view it as corruption if the sponsor is subsequently rewarded with a post of ambassador. If so, we can pronounce the hypothesis that Mr Schapiro, too, has been involved in a certain type of corruption and that his fight against corruption in the Czech Republic is rather hypocritical,” Zeman said.
He said Schapiro only views himself as an anti-corruption fighter and that no improvement of their mutual relations can be expected.
“However, it depends on the outcome of the [forthcoming] U.S. presidential elections. It depends on whom Mr Schapiro will sponsor this time, so it is not ruled out that he may not keep the post of ambassador for long,” Zeman said.
Relations between Zeman and Schapiro have been tense since April 2015, when Schapiro criticised Zeman for being the only president of an EU country to go to the Russian celebrations of the Victory anniversary, while the remaining leaders boycotted the event due to the preceding annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Zeman, in the interview yesterday, also lashed out at U.S. billionaire George Soros whom critics reproach for helping stage some recent changes to state regimes.
According to Zeman, a similar change is possibly being prepared in the Czech Republic as well.
“Some of his [Soros’] activities are at least suspicious and they strikingly remind of interferences in [countries’] internal affairs. The organising of what is known as colour revolutions in individual countries is an interesting hobby, but it brings more harm than benefit to the countries concerned,” Zeman said.
“Look what has become of Ukraine following Maidan [events that toppled former president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014], and such Maidans were or still are being prepared in many countries, maybe also in the Czech Republic,” Zeman said.

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