58089 3/24/2006 17:03 06PRAGUE309 Embassy Prague CONFIDENTIAL 06PRAGUE298 VZCZCXRO1231 OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR DE RUEHPG #0309 0831703 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 241703Z MAR 06 FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7136 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 7237 RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK PRIORITY 0190 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA PRIORITY 0480 RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1711 RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0142 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0115 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 000309
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 TAGS: PREL, PHUM, CVIS, EUN, BO, EZ SUBJECT: CZECHS STRONGLY SUPPORT TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR LUKASHENKO
REF: A. PRAGUE 00298
B. STATE 46976
Classified By: Acting DCM Michael Dodman for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) In a meeting on March 23, MFA Eastern Europe Director Tomas Szunyog told Poloff the Czechs support travel restrictions for top Belarusian government officials, ref A. On MQch 24, Poloff called Szunyog to confirm the Czechs support travel restrictions for Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko himself. Szunyog confirmed that they do, and added FM Cyril Svoboda proposed this sanction in a speech given March 23.
2. (C) Szunyog said the Czechs have proposed travel restrictions for Lukashenko within the EU context. Szunyog believes the matter will be debated during the April GAERC, and that the EU will base its decision in large part on recommendations made by EU Ambassadors in Minsk. Czech Charge d'Affaires Vladimir Ruml has been instructed to urge his counterparts in Minsk to support travel restrictions for Lukashenko and other regime officials.
3. (C) Szunyog was uncertain whether EU rules permit the Czechs to impose bilateral travel restriction if the EU failed to do so. Recalling that the GOCR had banned Lukashenko from attending the 2002 NATO Summit, he expected that it would likewise consider imposing a bilateral travel ban, if possible. CABANISS