Alexandr Vondra (Czech pronunciation: [ˈalɛksandr̩ ˈvondra]; born 17 August 1961) is a Czech politician and diplomat who served as Minister of Defence from 2010 to 2012 under Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Vondra also served as Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs between 2007 and 2009, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2007, both in cabinets of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. Vondra is also former Senator from Litoměřice (2006—2012) and Czech Ambassador to the United States (1997—2001).
|Minister of Defence|
13 July 2010 – 7 December 2012
|Prime Minister||Petr Nečas|
|Preceded by||Martin Barták|
|Succeeded by||Karolína Peake|
|Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs|
9 January 2007 – 8 May 2009
|Prime Minister||Mirek Topolánek|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Štefan Füle (as Minister)|
|Senator from Litoměřice|
28 October 2006 – 28 October 2012
|Preceded by||Zdeněk Bárta|
|Succeeded by||Hassan Mezian|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
4 September 2006 – 9 January 2007
|Prime Minister||Mirek Topolánek|
|Preceded by||Cyril Svoboda|
|Succeeded by||Karel Schwarzenberg|
|Czech Republic Ambassador |
to the United States
14 May 1997 – 10 October 2001
|Preceded by||Michael Žantovský|
|Succeeded by||Martin Palouš|
|Born||17 August 1961|
Prague, Czech Republic
|Alma mater||Univerzita Karlova|
He was born in Prague. He graduated in geography from Charles University in Prague in 1984, receiving a Doctor in Natural Sciences degree one year later. In the mid-1980s he was a dissident and Charter 77 signatory. After organizing a demonstration in January 1989, Vondra was imprisoned for two months. In November 1989, while the Velvet Revolution was underway, he co-founded the Civic Forum.
In 1990-1992, Vondra was foreign policy advisor to President Václav Havel. When Havel stepped down from his office during dissolution of Czechoslovakia and at the same time independent Czech foreign service began to be formed, Vondra became Czech Republic's First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in August 1992, responsible i. a. for negotiating the division of Czechoslovak diplomacy. In 1996 he was a chief negotiator for the Czech-German Declaration on the Mutual Relations and their Future Development. In March 1997 Vondra left to become the Czech Ambassador to the United States, staying there until July 2001. From March 2001 to January 2003, Vondra was the Czech Government Commissioner responsible for preparation of 2002 Prague summit of the NATO. From January to July 2003 Vondra was a Deputy Foreign Minister.
He became an ODS member only after his ministerial appointment and the victory in Senate elections in October 2006. He is generally perceived as pro-United States and wary of European integration though less than ODS eurosceptic hardliners, and had good connections to Havel (his announced return to politics in spring 2006 was taken as a sign of ODS trying to appease the political centre).
In November 2012, he decided to step down from politics, due to the loss of credibility following several corruption accusations and his previous relentless effort to pursue an installation of a US military missile radar, despite the prevailing opposition of his fellow Czech citizens.
Since his exit from politics, Vondra has served as director of the Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations at the CEVRO Institute in Prague, as well as an instructor for both Bachelor and Master level courses at the university.
He is married and has 3 children with his wife Martina: Vojtěch (1991), Anna (1993) and Marie (1996). He has another child, Jáchym (1992), with Veronika Vrecionová.
In 2014, he rejected Noam Chomsky's statements about dissidents in the East European communist countries, and remarked that "at the time when people like Havel were in Communist jails over their fight for freedom, Chomsky advocated Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia from the Boston cafes" and he warned that if the world listens to "rubbish from these people" it will once again lead to concentration camps and gulags.
- "RNDr. Alexandr Vondra". Government of the Czech Republic. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Lenka Ponikelská. "'Saša' Vondra: dissident minister". Czech Business Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-11.[permanent dead link]
- "Dr. Alexandr Vondra". Alexandr Vondra official website. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Jana Mlčochová. "Russian crude, Aero's deal and the ČSA trap". Czech Business Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
[Vondra is] Known for his pro-Western and especially pro-U.S. stance[dead link]
- "Czech running mates?". POLITICO. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- "Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism - Press Release". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. 9 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
- "Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations (PCTR) - CEVRO INSTITUTE". cevroinstitut.cz. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- "Východoevropští disidenti moc netrpěli, otřel se Chomsky o Havla a spol. - Domov - Lidovky.cz". Lidovky.cz. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Martin Hekrdla. "Lesk a bída drzých čel". Literární noviny. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexandr Vondra.|
- http://www.alexandrvondra.cz – official webpage stressing his senatorial role
- Vondra in foreign-language media, mostly English
- Vondra's statement at the general debate of the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly (scanned images in PDF format)