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    NATO's Chairman of the Military Committee, Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, rear center left, opens a meeting of NATO's Military Committee at NATO headquarters in Brussels (File)

    Сzech Party Calls for Referendum on Country's Withdrawal From NATO

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    The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, one of the most influential parties in the Czech Republic, is gathering signatures for a petition that would lead to the organization of a referendum on the country's withdrawal from NATO.

    In an interview with Sputnik, deputy chairman of the party's central committee Josef Skala said that NATO pursues a policy which contradicts its official slogans.

    "The policies which it promotes increasingly threaten security. The last summit in Warsaw that took place on July 8-9 was particularly dangerous. They deployed the biggest military arsenal at the Russian border since the Second World War, according to Professor Stephen Cohen, an expert on modern Russian history and politics," the politician said.

    The main goal of the party is to remove itself from NATO by way of this petition.

    "This petition demands that the government would promise to not allow the deployment of foreign troops and their military equipment on our territory, to not send our soldiers to the border with Russia and give people a chance to decide on if they need to NATO membership through a democratic referendum, the opportunity they have been waiting for 17 years," Skala said.

    The Czech Republic, as a NATO member, has to take part in the alliance's military activities, the politician said. According to Skala, such participation is dangerous and harmful for the residents of his country and doesn't correspond to its interests.

    "We are drawn into a conflict with the nuclear powers and they use us human shields, who are supposed to be the first to take the blow," Skala stated.

    According to him, the petition would give Czech residents an opportunity to decide their own fate and ensure that the government focuses on the country's interests, and not on those of the military alliance.


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