US AMBASSADOR Andrew Shapiro tried yesterday to defuse a simmering row with Czech President Milos Zeman that has seen him banned from the presidential residence.
Mr Shapiro is no longer welcome at Prague Castle after objecting to Mr Zeman’s plan to go to Moscow for the 70th anniversary of VE Day.
Mr Zeman said that he would attend the celebrations in the Russian capital on May 9 to honour the millions of Soviet citizens who died to liberate occupied Europe — a decision Mr Shapiro said weakened a united EU front against Moscow.
The president replied that the Czech ambassador to the US would not try to tell Barack Obama whom he could visit.
Mr Shapiro said yesterday he regretted that Mr Zeman felt offended, adding: “I value a good working relationship with everyone.”
The US has hit out at Mr Zeman’s attacks on “anti-Russian fools” and arguments that Ukraine’s civil war arose from genuine grievances in the east.