Russia expelled 20 Czech diplomats in response to a similar move taken by Prague in connection with the 2017 ammunition explosion.
The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday million Czech ambassador Vitezslav Pivonka to announce the decision to expel 20 embassy staff and ask them to leave Russia before April 20, adding that the decision to deport 18 Russian diplomats in The Czech is “hostile action”.
“This forces the author of the provocative actions to fully understand his responsibility for destroying the basis of normal relations between the two countries,” the statement said with the Russian Foreign Ministry. that Prague’s accusations were unfounded and “followed the actions taken against Russia in recent years”.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis on April 17 spoke live on television about “there is a reasonable suspicion that officers from the Russian military intelligence agency GRU were involved in the explosion of the ammunition warehouse in the Vrbetice region”. The explosion rocked a ammunition warehouse 330 kilometers southeast of Prague in October 2014, killing two people. Babis called the situation “unprecedented and infamous”.
Acting Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek then announced that 18 staff of the Russian embassy had been requested to leave within 72 hours. The deportation order and accusation have been the biggest conflict between the Czech Republic and Russia since 1989 to date.
The US Embassy in Prague announced on Twitter that Washington “always stands side by side with its allies first and foremost. We appreciate this move by the Czech Republic, forcing Russia to pay the price for the danger in the Czech territory”.
Vu Anh (According to the Reuters)