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AP Cites RFE/RL Interview with Vaclav Havel

AP Cites RFE/RL Interview with Vaclev Havel

As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visits Central and Eastern Europe to reassure American allies, the Associated Press quotes from RFE/RL’s exclusive interview with former Czech President Vaclav Havel. Havel told RFE/RL he hopes Biden will articulate a clear U.S. policy for the region. An exceprt is reprinted below, the full article is here.

Czech PM backs new US missile defense plan

Karel Janicek | The Associated Press


On Wednesday, Poland eagerly signed on to the revamped U.S. missile shield.

But in the Czech Republic, biting comments from former but still influential political figures tainted the atmosphere ahead of Biden's arrival.

Biden "should clearly explain the reasons that led the Obama administration to its decision not to build a radar in the Czech Republic," Former Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said in a statement.

Topolanek, whose government signed treaties with the Bush administration to build the radar system and took a lot of heat from a majority of Czechs who opposed the plan, said the Obama administration's moves toward Russia raise questions about "whether the United States is stepping back from the region of Central and Eastern Europe in exchange for better relations with Russia."

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel told the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that he expected Biden to "make it clear that America is interested in us, that someone else has not pushed us out of America's field of vision."