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Yanukovych Declared Persona Non Grata in Prague Ahead of Planned Visit

Prague's mayor, Tomas Hudecek. Wiki Commons / Hana Zimmermannová

The mayor of Prague has said that he has no intention of helping to organize Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's planned trip to the Czech capital in April, a news report said Wednesday.

Mayor Tomas Hudecek said that if Yanukovych's trip to the European Union country goes ahead, local authorities won't arrange any social events or receive him at the town hall, Radio Liberty reported.

Yanukovych has been heavily criticized by numerous leaders for his role in the attempts to quell increasingly violent street protests that have rocked Ukraine since the country's government backpedaled on its plans to sign a trade deal with the EU in November.

A number of Czech poets, singers and sportsmen have asked the country's president, Milos Zeman, to cancel the visit, which was arranged last year, and a petition to that end has garnered hundreds of signatures.

A spokesman for Zeman said that the president has no intention of withdrawing the invitation.

Yanukovych is expected to take part in a mini-summit dedicated to the Eastern Partnership, an EU integration program for former Soviet republics.

Hudecek also shot down the idea that Yanukovych would land at the city's airport, which is named after Vaclav Havel, the widely-revered writer and first president of Czech Republic's during the post-Communist period.

Prague authorities also have decided to donate 500,000 Czech koruna ($24,600) in humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian opposition, Hudecek said.

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