Havel: Russia, Belarus are a new type of authoritarian regimes


Prague, Sept 9 (CTK) - Russia and Belarus are new sophisticated, authoritarian regimes that have emerged in the past years, former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel said Tuesday.

Western democracies should not be afraid to make it clear what they did not like in these regimes, Havel said in his address at the 5th annual conference Asia-Pacific Security Challenges: Implications for Europe and Atlantic Alliance.

The conference is being held in Prague under the aegis of Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

Havel mentioned Russia's attack on Georgia. He said that the presented democracy and the real life contradicted each other in Russia.

Russia is also the main ally of Belarus that is often criticised by western countries over non-observance of human rights.

Havel said he understood that all countries wanted to have the best possible partnership relations with "Putinist Russia."

However, he pointed out that openness and the ability to talks about something that one or the other side does not like belongs to partnership.

"The West, the Euro-Atlantic world, the EU and the United States should not hesitate to talk about what they do not like in Russian policy and in Russian actions in the interest of peace, even if it is fictitious, and economic relations," Havel said.

At the end of August, Havel said that the European Union should name Russia clearly as an aggressor in Georgia. However, the EU is afraid to take a resolute step, for instance, reduce its economic relations with Moscow because it is being blackmailed by the supply of energy sources from Russia, Havel said.

"It seems so far that it is the value of all values and that oil is more important than human rights, the countries' independence and other such petty things," Havel said recently on the public Czech television before the EU summit on the Russian-Georgian conflict.

The EU should make it clear to Russia that such an impression is false and that there are values for which it is necessary to sacrifice some things, Havel said.

As its response to the situation in the Caucasus the European Union postponed at the summit the talks on the new treaty concerning strategic partnership with Russia.



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