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CZECH REPUBLIC: Georgia Sets Off an Old Debate
PRAGUE, Aug 23 (IPS) - The coinciding of military confrontation between Russia and Georgia and the 40th anniversary of the brutal crushing of the 'Prague Spring' in 1968 in what was Czechoslovakia has triggered a debate on whether a comparison between the two events is justified.

As Czech and Slovak leaders held solemn ceremonies in Prague and Bratislava to mark the historic Aug. 21, 1968, the Czech leaders were conspicuously divided in their views on the conflict between the great power Russia and its tiny neighbour Georgia.

Czechoslovakia split peacefully in 1993 into the Czech and Slovak republics, on the heels of the fall of the Berlin Wall that paved the way for parliamentary democracy in the country.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has strongly criticised Georgia. Klaus, together with eminent writer Vaclav Havel and his Social Democrat counterpart Milos Zeman is recognised as one of the three most important Czech politicians of the 1990s, and the last of them to remain active.

Klaus argues that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's "fatal" actions against the separatist region of South Ossetia were to blame for the conflict.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 24th, 2008 at 03:28:52 PM EST
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