Prague, May 5 (CTK) – A state whose president gains information from secret services and immediately releases it in public looks strange, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) in reaction to President Milos Zeman’s statement on TV Barrandov that the Novichok nerve poison was tested in the Czech Republic last year.
It was logical of Zeman to task the secret services to check whether Novichok was handled in the country, since every state needs true information in order to know how to react to accusations. However, the intelligence services’ information that small-scale tests of Novichok were made in the country proves nothing [in connection with the recent Novichok attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in Britain], Petracek writes.
The politicians who are not amateurish release a certain type of information only with a clear purpose. For example, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, when boasting of the gain of the Iranian nuclear archive by Mossad, committed such indiscretion as part of Israel’s pressure for a better agreement between the West and Iran, Petracek writes.
Zeman’s indiscretion, on its part, only plays into the hands of Russia against Britain, which is Prague’s ally. It annoyed loyal Czech officials who had to hastily declare that the A230 poison, as tested in the Czech military research institute last autumn, is not identical with A234, the poison used to attack Skripal, Petracek writes.
All this is due to Zeman excessively enjoying his regular interviews on commercial TV Barrandov, Petracek concludes, adding that to Zeman, TV Barrandov is a favourite toy like Twitter for U.S. President Donald Trump.
In daily Pravo, Michal Mocek discusses the information presented by President Milos Zeman based on secret services’ reports, that both the A230 and A234 nerve poisons, the former of which was tested in Czechia last year and the latter killed Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain this March, are different substances but both are poisons of the Novichok type.
Czech experts can hardly be the only in the world to handle this type of poisons, and it is legitimate to ask who else dealt with Novichoks, including A234, Mocek writes.
It is evident that the West has known Novichok, including A234, at least since the moment when Skripal’s daughter quickly “came to life” after the attack, and her father’s condition started improving quickly as well. This unexpected event can only be explained by the British having a very effective antibody, which they could hardly have without testing A234, Mocek says.
The Czech military intelligence report and the miraculous resurrection of the Skripals mean a fatal blow to the West’s repeated assertion that only Russia had Novichoks, Mocek says.
He asks why the A234, which endangered the Skripals, did not poison the police officer in contact with them or other people in the street where Skripal lived.
Would any general really want to have Novichok as a weapon in a situation, where, according to British investigators, it takes A234 several hours to penetrate the skin inside a human body? Mocek asks.
The deeper into the Novichok jungle one proceeds, the more lost one feels in it, Mocek adds.