Czech allies show support for country in expulsion of Russian diplomats

The United States, United Kingdom, and other countries have issued words of support for the Czech Republic following revelations about a 2014 explosion

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 18.04.2021 14:39 (updated on 18.04.2021)

Support for the Czech Republic over the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague has been expressed by the United Kingdom, United States, Latvia, and other states.

On Saturday, PM  Andrej Babiš announced the move following suspected Russian secret service involvement in the explosion of a Czech ammunition depot in 2014.

The USA stands by the Czech Republic and appreciates its significant decision to hold Russia accountable for its dangerous action in Czech territory, write U.S. deputy ambassador Jennifer Bachus.

The UK fully supports its Czech allies who have shown how far the Russian intelligence services are ready to go to conduct dangerous and harmful operations in Europe, says British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

He wrote Britain is still determined to bring the people responsible for the attempt to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter before court, and praises the efforts by the Czech authorities to do the same.

Raab references the Czech suspicion that the two Russian intelligence agents behind the blast in the Vrbětice ammunition depot were the same men who tried to poison the Skripals in Britain in 2018.

Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs writes that Latvia expresses solidarity with its Czech ally over Prague's decision to expel 18 Russian spies who passed themselves off as diplomats.

The subversive activity of Russian agents, which caused the explosition that killed two people is condemnable, the culprits must be punished, he wrote.

Announcing the matter on Saturday, Czech PM Andrej Babiš told journalists that the Czech Republic, a sovereign state, must react to this. He later stated that the full report from Czech secret services will be declassified on Monday.

Deputy PM and acting Foreign Minister Jan Hamáček said the Czech Republic will expel 18 Russian embassy workers who have been identified as Russian intelligence services members.

In their initial reactions, Russian politicians called the statements of Babiš and Hamáček absurd, and said they expect Moscow to take retaliatory steps aimed at Czech diplomats in Russia.