World

AP Interview: Czech president says any Russian attack on the Baltics would be suicidal

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Zeman said he does not fear Russia's invasion to Baltic countries since it would be "suicidal". (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Zeman said he does not fear Russia's invasion to Baltic countries since it would be "suicidal". (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman smiles during an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman smiles during an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman arrives for an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Zeman said he does not fear Russia's invasion to Baltic countries since it would be "suicidal". (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman arrives for an interview with The Associated Press at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Zeman said he does not fear Russia's invasion to Baltic countries since it would be "suicidal". (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

The Czech president says any Russian incursion into the Baltics would be suicidal for Moscow and it would draw NATO into a fight.

Milos Zeman, known for pro-Russia views in the eastern Ukraine conflict, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Russian President "Vladimir Putin is not suicidal and knows the consequences this attack would have."

The Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — were ruled by Moscow for nearly five decades following World War II and are fearful that Russia could launch an incursion like it did in Ukraine. Latvia and Estonia have large Russian-speaking minorities.

Zeman also said it wouldn't make economic sense for Russia to annex eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia rebels are in a standoff with Ukrainian troops.