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Is Prague trolling Moscow by honouring slain Putin critic?

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Source: Al Jazeera

Boris Nemtsov led protests against Putin, and called for the release of ‘political prisoners’ [File photo: May 2013/Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters]

Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech capital risks angering the Kremlin with plans to rename a public square after murdered Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

The change of name at “Pod Kastany Namesti” (“Under the Chestnuts Square”) in Prague will do little to improve recently strained relations with Moscow. The square, in reality little more than a tree-lined road junction in the leafy Prague 6 suburb, hosts the Russian embassy.

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The move extends a series of controversies spurred by officials in the Czech capital that appear designed to reassert the EU member state’s pro-Western foreign policy orientation, in opposition to efforts by populists to pull the country closer to countries like Russia and China.

“This is in line with the Czech tradition of respect for human rights,” Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib told Al Jazeera, referring to the foreign policy stance developed under the Czech Republic‘s first president, Vaclav Havel.

The three opposition parties that control Prague city council have indicated they will all support the name change in a vote on February 24. A ceremony is arranged for

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