President Miloš Zeman has asked Interior Minister Milan Chovanec to comply with the application of 40 families of Volhyn Czechs in Ukraine to be repatriated to the Czech Republic. The group of ethnic Czech families applied in the spring in the face of developments in Ukraine but was turned down by the Czech Foreign Ministry which contended that Ukraine would be able to ensure their security and rights. The group also wrote to the president asking for help. The Volhyn Czechs expressed the fear not of reprisals by the Ukrainian majority but of a war between Ukraine and Russia. The Czech interior minister said he would look into the matter and made clear he was not opposed if there were no legal barriers. He said, however, he wanted to know the position of the Foreign Ministry first.