A house without fire: why the Czech president did not find a “Russian trace” in Vrbetica

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Even in the closed parts of the Czech counterintelligence reports, there was no evidence of the participation of “Russian agents” in the incident seven years ago, Czech President Milos Zeman said on April 25. According to him, the reasons for the explosions in Vrbetica in 2014 could have been the careless handling of ammunition and the interference of foreign special services. The Federation Council noted the timeliness of Zeman’s intervention in the conflict and called his speech proof of the fabricated charges. Agree with this in the State Duma, where the statement of the Czech politician was called “expected”, and the president himself – a mature statesman. However, earlier the authorities of the Czech Republic and other countries expelled employees of the Russian embassy because of accusations of the involvement of the Russian side in the state of emergency in Vrbetica. At the same time, experts interviewed by Izvestia consider the Czech accusations to be one of the aspects of the confrontation with Russia, unleashed by the West, led by the United States.

“There is no proof”

On April 25, Czech President Milos Zeman said that there was no evidence in the intelligence reports of the involvement of “Russian agents” in the 2014 explosion in Vrbetica.

“The report of the Information Security Service says that there is no evidence or testimony that two Russian agents were in the premises in Vrbetica,” the Czech leader said.

He also added that the Czech intelligence services during these years did not report anything about the “Russian trace” even in the closed part of the reports, and urged not to rush to conclusions. Moreover, Zeman listed two possible causes of the explosion: careless handling of ammunition and interference by foreign intelligence services. The Czech president also said that the weapons in the warehouses where the explosions took place belonged to a Bulgarian businessman. The “Bulgarian footprint” can be considered proven, ”Zeman added.

Czech President Milos Zeman

Czech President Milos Zeman

Photo: TASS / Zuma

Zeman’s statement once again demonstrates the “fabrication” of all the accusations of the Czech authorities, which were before that, according to the Federation Council.

– There is no evidence. They cannot be – this is understandable, – said Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs. – This conflict has gone too deep, and the Czech side overestimated its strength and capabilities. However, this is not all – it can still affect our trade and economic ties. Now was the time for the Czech President to intervene and think about how to start the process of normalizing relations. The Russian people have always been friendly to the Czechs.

The senator stressed that the aggressive actions of the Czech Republic were not supported by anyone, except for a number of “Young Europeans” – several countries of the post-Soviet space and the Warsaw Pact Organization. According to the parliamentarian, Zeman’s authority in the country is quite high, and someone in Prague may even have to resign for “such awkward actions.”

Zeman’s statement was expected, and the Czech president showed himself to be a responsible politician who values ​​his reputation, according to the State Duma.

Remnants of ammunition at the site of the explosion of a military warehouse in Vrbetica in 2014

Remnants of ammunition at the site of the explosion of a military warehouse in Vrbetica in 2014

Photo: TASS / Zuma

“From the first accusations of Czech politicians it was clear that this case was sewn with white thread,” Dmitry Novikov, first deputy chairman of the Duma committee on international affairs, expressed his opinion in a conversation with Izvestia. – When so many years have passed, the return to this topic looks more than strange. If a “Russian trace” had been discovered, it would have been found then, and not in some amazing way now. Zeman has a good political school and, for sure, wants to remain in history as a serious statesman.

Staged step

Despite the lack of evidence, the Czech authorities had previously taken a number of unfriendly steps due to “Russia’s involvement” in the 2014 Vrbetica incident. Then in the Czech Republic, two explosions thundered in military warehouses with a difference of one and a half months. Two people died, and the population of nearby villages was evacuated. It is noteworthy that only seven years later, the Czech authorities were able to name those whom they believe were involved in those attacks.

Help “Izvestia”

On April 17, Prime Minister Andrei Babis said that the country’s authorities suspect the Russian special services of involvement in the explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. At the same time, it was announced about the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats. In addition, Prague announced the exclusion of the state corporation Rosatom from the list of candidates for participation in the tender for the construction of a new power unit of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

The next day, in response to this unfriendly move, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech embassy in Moscow persona non grata. After that, Prague decided to equalize the number of employees in the embassies of Moscow and Prague.

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, denied the accusations from Prague, and called the absence of the publication of the report on the explosion “proof of a lie.” After Zeman’s statement, she also noted that the Czech Republic had no grounds to bring charges against Russia. According to her, now the Czech side must answer the world community’s question about what exactly was stored in the warehouses in Vrbetica.

The car of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeevsky near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

The car of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeevsky near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Photo: Global Look Press / Michal Kamaryt

Meanwhile, Russia continues to await evidence and explanations from the Eastern European country over the 2014 bombing charges.

– Our officials have already noted that these accusations are not based on anything. We continue to wait for the confirmation of our words from the Czechs. If this does not happen, then it will be interpreted as an extremely unfriendly step. Moreover, the step was staged and carried out hardly by Czech representatives, ”political scientist Denis Denisov emphasized in a conversation with Izvestia.

The expert stressed that without any explanation, this will be perceived as one of the aspects of the “complex war against Russia” by the United States and its allies.