Czech president says Russians in West should come under tighter scrutiny

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Russians living in Western countries should come under tighter scrutiny from security services as Russia wages war in Ukraine, Czech President Petr Pavel told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

“I believe that, as in the case of a number of world conflicts in the past, when there is an ongoing war, the security measures related to Russian nationals should be stricter than in normal times,” he said in an interview aired on Thursday.

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“So all Russians living in Western countries should be monitored much more than in the past.”

Pavel, a former army chief and NATO official elected to office this year, said it was a “cost of war.”

He used the example of Japanese living in the United States during World War II.

In 1942, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the imprisonment of Japanese Americans, in the aftermath of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 were held at 10 camps because of fears that Japanese Americans were enemy sympathizers.

Reuters is seeking comment from Moscow on his remarks.

Pavel also told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service that he expected “strong language” offering long-term support of Ukraine when NATO meets next month in a summit in Vilnius.

The Czech Republic has been a staunch backer of Ukraine as it fights Russia’s invasion.

In May, Pavel told Reuters supporting Ukraine’s entry into the European Union and NATO - both of which the Czech Republic belongs to - should be a long-term target.

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