Russian Citizens in the West Should Be Under “Strict Surveillance,” Says Czech President
According to the president of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, Russian citizens living in the West should be placed under “strict surveillance” by intelligence services.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFA) released today, Pavel emphasized the need for Western powers to closely monitor Russian citizens living abroad as long as the war in Ukraine continues. He stated that the West should be monitoring Russians “much more.”
“All Russians living in Western countries should be monitored much more than in the past because they are citizens of a nation that leads an aggressive war,” Pavel said. He drew a parallel to the treatment of the Japanese population in the United States during the Second World War, when they were placed under strict surveillance in internment camps.
When asked to clarify what he meant by “monitoring,” Pavel explained that it referred to being under the scrutiny of security services. While the president took a firm stance, stating that surveillance is “simply a cost of war,” a spokesman later clarified that he did not mean creating internment camps for Russian citizens.
Pavel expressed sympathy for those who have fled Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, he emphasized that during ongoing wars, security measures related to Russian nationals should be stricter, even for those who do not support the war.
Since the invasion, hundreds of thousands of Russians have fled the country, with estimates suggesting that as many as one million Russians may have left.
The reason for monitoring these Russians, according to Pavel’s office, is that the majority of Russians support the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and civilian attacks. The spokeswoman clarified that heightened attention to the Russian community living in Western countries is necessary to ensure the security of their own citizens.
In the interview, Pavel also expressed his support for Ukraine joining both NATO and the European Union, stating that it is crucial for regional stability and countering Russia’s aggressive policies.
Pavel, who assumed office in March, holds a largely ceremonial role as the head of state, but still wields some influence.
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