October 4, 2008

Czech Mayors Comment on Russians Allegedly Buying Up Land Around US Radar Site

Text of report by Czech newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes on 29 September

[Unidentified report: "Russians Seeking To Obtain Land Plots Near Radar"]

Prague - According to Deputy Defence Minister Martin Bartak, Russians are trying to acquire land plots in Brdy where the US antimissile radar is to be located. "It is one of the activities that can be anticipated," Bartak said yesterday on Czech Television's Vaclav Moravec Questions discussion programme.

The annual report of the Military Intelligence will be published today. Like the BIS [Security Information Service] report released a few days ago, the military's report will warn that foreign agents in the Czech Republic actively seek to influence the public opinion against the radar.

According to Bartak, the two secret services are actively preventing the Russians from buying out land plots in the vicinity of the future radar. "Strategic premises and territories will not go to unauthorized hands, be it around the radar station or elsewhere," he said.

The mayors of Jince and Rozmital Pod Tremsinem reacted to the deputy defence minister's words by saying that they did not know about any larger scale buying up of land plots. "I think that the government is just making this up. Alas, nobody is buying any land around here. We are six kilometres away from the radar - we have construction plots here and nobody wants them," Pavel Hutr, the mayor of Vesin in the Pribram district, complained.

Miroslav Leitermann, the mayor of Nepomuk, has received different information. "I have heard about it from people before television reported about it. People may want to get rid of plots that will be unmarketable after the radar is here. And Russians are those who have both the money and the interest. We, as a municipality, can do nothing about it," Mlada Fronta Dnes was told by Leitermann yesterday.

Originally published by Mlada fronta Dnes, Prague, in Czech 29 Sep 08.

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