Education Ministry Approved Map with Russian Annexed Crimea and Islamic State

Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) – The Czech Education Ministry has deleted the World Atlas, issued by Kartografie Praha and presenting the area controlled by Islamic State and Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula as annexed by Russia, the ministry’s press department has told CTK.


The ministry approved the new atlas last June and October, although the Czech Republic recognises neither Islamic State nor the annexation of Crimea by Russia.


The ambassadors of Ukraine and Georgia complained about the atlas at the Foreign Ministry late last year.


“The Education Ministry checked the issue and withdrew the atlas’s approval certificate. At present, the ministry is in contact with the publisher to secure the fastest possible remedy,” the ministry said.


It said it decided to approve the atlas last summer in accordance with a directive saying that at least two positive expert opinions are needed for a new textbook to be approved.


Prague does not recognise the Russian annexation of Crimea, in spite of Czech President Milos Zeman’s statement at a Council of Europe meeting last year that the annexation of Crimea is a fait accompli and that Kiev and Moscow should agree on a compensation, either financial or in the form of oil or gas supplies.


Ukraine and the Czech political scene protested against Zeman’s words. Then Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said Zeman had no mandate to assess the annexation of Crimea and his words were at sharp variance with Prague’s official foreign policy.


Islamic State is a radical Islamist terrorist organisation. No country has recognised the self-styled state IS declared in the areas it occupied in Iraq and Syria.