## Friday, June 04, 2021

### Soviet loan fake news: Václav Klaus Institute responds to a non-apology

IVK's response to the reaction of the editors-in-chief of HN and Aktuálně.cz regarding the false accusation of Václav Klaus of sending 1.3 billion US dollars to the USSR

JIŘÍ WEIGL
PETR MACINKA

Dear editors-in-chief,

We are disappointed by your response to our public letter and request for an apology for fabricating a conspiracy theory about a secret loan to the USSR just before November 1989. The fact that you are unable to acknowledge the misconduct of the media you control, and dare to apologetically call blatant lies "media shorthand", is an example of arrogance and hippopotamus [thick] skin that is contrary to any elementary journalistic ethics.

You wrote verbatim and in the headline that "Václav Klaus secretly sent \$1.3 billion to the Soviets after the revolution". This is the main content of the entire article and the entire related media campaign, a message that has gone through all the media and is still being persistently disseminated today. You yourself know very well that every single word of this sentence is a lie, and yet you do not have the decency and professional honour to apologise to the victim for this? To make strange incremental changes to archival articles instead is a mockery. That in no way qualifies as setting the record straight.

It is equally frustrating to read your prevarication about the specific errors we pointed out in the open letter. The most incredible part of this is the realisation that not only your "investigative" journalists, but also the editors themselves have no idea what the convertible rouble was, how it worked and how clearing payment agreements work in general. The main characteristic of the transferable ruble was that it was not transferable, i.e. it worked only bilaterally, the asset could not be used in any other territorial relation, and your gloriously discovered "credit" was in fact only an increased credit framework negotiated by the last communist government as a forced measure in response to a hard-to-solve imbalance in mutual trade flows. The obvious factual ignorance you demonstrate in your response calls into question the chance for mutual understanding, and thus the point of the discussion itself.

Czechoslovak-Soviet trade, with all its difficulties, was going on before November 1989 and continued necessarily after November, regardless of the will of Václav Klaus. One of the objectives of the transformation, which was prepared and implemented by Václav Klaus, was to reorient our foreign trade from the soft Eastern markets to the high-quality and demanding Western markets. This was achieved in an exceptionally short time and is one of the unquestionable successes of Klaus's transformation policy. Only a complete ignoramus or a malicious manipulator relying on the public's ignorance and the power of a once uttered slander can accuse him of not arbitrarily wringing the neck of economic relations with the USSR in December 1989.

The aforementioned article of 25 May 2021 can serve as a textbook example of the disinformation manipulation and fake news that is so widely used today. Your reply implies that this is in line with the official policy of your media, and this is very alarming.

Yours sincerely

PhDr. Ing. Jiří Weigl, CSc., Executive Director of IVK
Mgr. Petr Macinka, Spokesman of IVK

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

P.S.: Klaus has sent two complaints against a scandalous interview at "20 minutes" in the Czech public radio. One letter went to the Council of the Public Radio; another to the Committee for the Radio and TV Broadcast.