He has a reputation for straight talk and brilliance. The English magazine The Spectator publishes an interview with him in this week's issue by Neil Clark entitled "The Lies Europe Tells About Russia".
Klaus bemoans EU bureacracy bloat, EU non-market economic policies, and the "tragic misunderstanding ... on same-sex marriages and all that stuff about family."
Then he explains how the EU and US are getting it wrong on Russia:
It’s not just on the economy that Europe has got it wrong, says Klaus.
He doesn’t agree with the western elite’s current hostility towards Russia, which he believes is based on a false and outdated view of the country.
‘I remember one person in our country who at one moment was minister of foreign affairs, telling me that he hated communism so much that he was not even able to read Dostoevsky. I have remembered that statement for decades and I am afraid that the current propaganda against Russia is based on a similar argument and way of thinking.
I spent most of my life in a communist Czechoslovakia under Soviet domination. But I differentiate between the Soviet Union and Russia. Those who are not able to understand the difference are simply not looking with open eyes.
I always argue with my American and British friends that although the political system in Russia is different from the system in our countries and we wouldn’t be happy to live in such a system, to compare the current Russia with Leonid Brezhnev’s Soviet Union is stupid.’
He says, with finality: ‘The US/EU propaganda against Russia is really ridiculous and I can’t accept it.’
In an interview on Czech radio in early September, Klaus stated that Ukraine is an artificially created state, and that the Ukrainian conflict was an artificial event created by the West and the United States which forced Russia to intervene. He also argued that Ukraine lacks strong ties to keep country together. (Wikipedia)
Here is some more from the Spectator interview:
Václav Klaus has made a habit of saying things others shy away from saying, but it doesn’t seem to have done him much harm in the popularity stakes. Quite the opposite: the 73-year-old ardently Eurosceptic free-marketeer has legitimate claims to be regarded as the most successful ‘true blue’ conservative politician in Europe over the past 25 years. He was, after all, prime minister of the Czech Republic from 1992 to 1998 and then his country’s president for a further ten years, from 2003 to 2013.
Klaus believes the EU is beyond reform and has called for it to be replaced with an ‘Organisation of European States’ — a simple free trade association which would not pursue political integration. He recalls his own experience at the forefront of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution in 1989. ‘When we started to change my country we quite deliberately did not use the term “reform” — we used the word “transformation”, because we wanted a systemic change. Such a systemic change is needed in Europe today.’
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