Russia today announced the expulsion of 20 Czech diplomats in response to a similar move yesterday by Prague to expel 18 Russian diplomats, after accusing Russian intelligence services of being involved in the bombing of a store. the Czech army in 2014. The last few days have witnessed a deportation exchange. diplomats between Russia on the one hand and America and European countries on the one hand because of the strained relations between the two parties.
According to Russian agency RIA Novosti, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry, expelled Czech diplomats have a deadline until the end of tomorrow to leave Russian territory. Read also As tensions rise between Ukraine and Russia … British warships sail to Black Sea in May Report: China and Russia pose greatest threat to US national security Foreign policy: influence of Russia in South Asia is increasing
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said a few hours ago that his country’s response to the Czech Republic’s decision would “convey to Prague its responsibility to destroy the foundations of relations between the two countries”, and Minister Lavrov indicated that it is not difficult to find American influence in the Czech decision.
The Russian minister denounced what he called the Czech allegations and accused Russian intelligence services of being involved in the bombing of a Czech army ammunition store in 2014, and Moscow called Prague’s justifications to expel weak and absurd Russian diplomats.
The Russian Foreign Ministry added: “This hostile move is part of a series of anti-Russian measures taken by the Czech Republic in recent years. We can only see the effect of the United States. ” The ministry continued, “In an attempt to keep the United States happy in the context of recent American sanctions against Russia, the Czech authorities have even bypassed their masters abroad in this regard.”
A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the Czech Republic, by expelling Russian diplomats, wishes to close its embassy in Moscow, adding that Prague is fully aware of the repercussions and how Moscow will respond to the expulsion of its citizens. diplomats.
Yesterday authorities in Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats from its territory for collaborating with Russian intelligence services, describing them as spies working for the Russian intelligence service (SVR) and the main direction of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU).
And the Czech authorities made it clear yesterday that they had “compelling evidence” linking Russian military intelligence to an explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbtice, in the east of the country, in 2014, killing two people.
Czech police said they were looking for two men with Russian passports, identical to those of the suspects, with the aim of poisoning Novichok gas for former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in Britain in 2018. Advertisement
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Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced the cancellation of a visit to Russia, which was scheduled for tomorrow, due to the current tensions with Moscow, and added that his country had requested the extradition of those accused of the attack bombing of the 2014 ammunition depot, and that investigations have shown Russian intelligence involvement in the bombing.
Prague is expected to talk about Russia’s role in the bombing of the Czech army warehouse at a meeting of foreign ministers from European Union countries tomorrow. Britain and Poland, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have expressed support for the measures taken by the Czech Republic against Russia.
The last few days have witnessed an exchange of expulsions of diplomats between America and European countries on the one hand, and with Russia on the one hand, in an expression of the tension in relations between the two parties. reaching a climax since the end of the cold. War.
Last Thursday, America and Poland announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats accused of “acts of hostility,” and Moscow responded in kind.
Ukraine yesterday decided to deport a senior Russian diplomat in response to the Russian authorities’ detention and expulsion of the Ukrainian consul in St. Petersburg, with Moscow accusing him of seeking to obtain confidential information on a data from Russian security services.