President of Czech Republic speaks Russian, practices sports, likes beer and does not smoke

Vladimir Putin and Czech President Vaclav Klaus can communicate using the same language. As RIA Novosti found out on the eve of the meeting between the two presidents, the Czech side declined interpreter's services.

Vaclav Klaus speaks perfect Russian, reads literary works written by Russian authors, including Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn, and during meetings with Russian politicians tries to "speak only Russian." The Czech President practices sports on a regular basis, does not smoke and prefers beer among other alcoholic drinks. He is a fan of jazz music.

Mr. Klaus, the former Czech prime minister and the honorary chair of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), was elected the 10th President in the history of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia on February 28, 2003. He has a doctorate degree in economy. In 1992, after the SDP victory in the parliamentary elections, he became the Prime Minister. Since 1998 - he is the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies (lower chamber) of the Czech Parliament.

It is his second visit to Russia as the head of the Czech Republic. Klaus' predecessor, Vaclav Gavel, visited Russia twice - in 1992 he paid an official visit, and in 1995 he participated in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Russia's victory in the Great Patriotic War.

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