(Prague) The Czech Foreign Minister said, Saturday, that the Czech Republic will expel 18 workers at the Russian embassy, whom its intelligence services have identified as agents of the Moscow spy agency.
Minister Jan Hamask told reporters that “18 employees of the Russian embassy must leave our republic within 48 hours.”
For his part, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said that his country had “irrefutable evidence” of the involvement of Russian military intelligence agents in an ammunition depot explosion that killed two people in 2014.
“We have good reason to believe that agents of GRU 29155 were involved in the explosion of an ammunition depot in Verbatis,” the prime minister said.
He said he received this information on Friday, without explaining why the Czech government had only obtained this information now.
“The explosion caused massive material damage and endangered the lives of many people, but first of all, it killed two of our citizens,” added Mr. Babis.
These discoveries “will harm Russian-Czech relations,” as lamented Mr. Hamachik, who had just replaced his pro-European counterpart Thomas Petrichik in foreign affairs while retaining his duties as Minister of the Interior.
On Monday, the pro-Russian Czech President Milos Zeman sacked Petrich after he opposed the use of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, without the European green light.
Petrich, a pro-European social democrat, criticized Russia’s potential participation in a project in the nuclear sector.
“We find ourselves in a situation similar to what happened in the United Kingdom following the attempted poisoning in Salisbury in 2018,” added Hamachik, referring to the case of Sergei Skripal, a former double agent who survived a Russian attack. Services on British soil.
Hamachik said he had summoned the Russian ambassador, Alexander Zmiyevsky, on Saturday evening.
Poland announced Thursday that it had expelled three Russian diplomats accused of committing “hostile acts” after the United States took similar measures in response to a series of actions blamed on Moscow.