"This is not a 'diplomatic shootout'; it's a major problem," Hajek stated. "The current US Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Mr. Schapiro, like his predecessor, behaves himself as if he were on conquered territory. The US Embassy in Prague serves not as a representative body, but rather as a center sending out negative signals against certain Czech politicians."
In Hajek's view, the US ambassador "is behaving here like the head of a protectorate, considering it acceptable to give instructions to the president –about whether he can go to Moscow or not…This is completely inappropriate behavior for a diplomat."
In the journalist's view, "President Zeman's position, rejecting the advice of the US ambassador, and of that of any country for that matter…is the only possible adequate response. Our country's leader has carried himself as the President of the Czech Republic, and not as the head of a protectorate of the United States."
With Czech-US relations already strained at the diplomatic level, Hajek noted that the US's recent military exercises, driving a military convoy across Eastern and Central Europe have made the US tone toward Czech leaders "even more audacious." The journalist believes that this latest diplomatic conflict will only result in "more pressure by forces on our political scene seeking to reduce the Czech Republic's sovereignty in favor of the EU and the US. But these costs, in my view, are easier to bear than the alternative, which is that the leader of a state behaves like a satellite of another country, as some sort of appendage to foreign interests."
Hajek believes that the Czech president's trip is "an event of utmost significance, serving as recognition by the Czech Republic that the USSR (and Russia, as its successor) served as the main force in liberating Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. It demonstrates our gratitude to the 150,000 Soviet soldiers who died on our land. The least that can be done on behalf of the Czech people to make such a demonstration is to bow in honor of those killed in fighting for our freedom in their [the Russians'] homeland."