The Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, Zdenek Krejci has lamented that the reaction of European countries to the ongoing Russian/Ukrainian war has not been too smooth.
Krejci, who is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Gabon, Central African Republic and Republic of Congo, said at the handover of the European Union Presidency to Sweden, that: “As we all know, the Christmas holidays in Europe and Ukraine will be difficult and complicated this year.
“The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has completely changed the geopolitical situation on our continent, while demonstrating that the European Union is able to respond decisively. The events of the last months have shown that Europeans in a crisis triggered by an external threat, are able to act very quickly, effectively and in a united way.”
He stressed that: “The overall objective of the Czech Presidency was to contribute as much as possible to creating the conditions for the security and prosperity of the EU in the context of the European values of freedom, social justice, democracy and the rule of law and environmental responsibility.”
He added that: “The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU has been getting closer to the finish line and is gradually reaping the fruits of almost six months of work. Among other things, it managed to facilitate an agreement among Member States on further measures to tackle the energy crisis, negotiate the EU budget for 2023, successfully conclude further parts of the Fit for 55 climate package, and ensure the non-recognition of Russian passports issued in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Georgia.”
The Swedish Ambassador-Designate to Nigeria, Annika Hahn-Englund on her part, said she would want to congratulate the Czech Republic for a successful EU Presidency in a very challenging time with a war in Europe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She noted that: “The Czech Presidency has been able to unite the European Union Member States to have a common response to the war, and to together tackle the energy crises, to advance security and defence related issues and to lead the climate change discussions and results at the COP27. Many of these dossiers will continue to be on the top of the agenda during the Swedish Presidency.”
She added that: “Sweden is number three in the Presidency Trio – first France, now the Czech Republic and from 1st January Sweden. Building on the Trio Programme from December 2021, the political direction for the Swedish EU Presidency can be summarized in five headings:
-Providing security for EU citizens and strengthening the EU’s role in the world
-Stopping organised crime
-Speeding up the climate transition
-Strengthening the EU’s competitiveness for the jobs of the future
-Safeguarding the EU’s fundamental values.”
She explained that the Lucia procession is really about celebrating light and the future return of light in the middle of midwinter darkness, adding that: “The Latin word for light is “Lux” and this is the origin of the name of Lucia. Saint Lucia lived in Sicily in Italy in the 4th century and she came with food to poor people living in caves. As she was carrying the food in her hands, she put candles in her hair to light up.”