The Czech Republic calls on its allies, including Britain, to consider the possibility of expelling Russian diplomats. This was announced on Monday, April 19, by First Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Head of the Czech Foreign Ministry Jan Hamacek.
He noted that the Czech Republic “values the voice of Great Britain very much” and hears support from the European Union and the United States.
“We ask for solidarity, and I asked my colleagues to also consider the possibility of expelling Russian officials who work on their territory. But this is obviously a decision that must be made by individual countries, ”Hamacek said in an interview with British TV channel Sky News.
Earlier that day, he stated that Russia’s reaction to the expulsion of embassy staff from the Czech Republic was stronger than expected. Also, according to Gamachek, the work of the country’s embassy in Moscow is paralyzed after the reciprocal expulsion of diplomats. He explained that only the consular department was functioning, calling the current situation a big blow to the embassy.
At the same time, as reported by radio iRozhlas, Hamacek did not rule out a reduction in the number of employees of the Russian embassy in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic announced its decision to expel 18 Russian diplomats on April 17. It was reported that the diplomats were “identified by the country’s special services as officers of the GRU and SVR.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a strong protest against the Czech Republic, and on April 18, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in the Russian Federation persona non grata.
By Monday evening, 18 employees of the Russian embassy and members of their families, expelled by the country’s authorities, had already left the Czech Republic. They flew from Prague to Moscow at 17:00 local time (18:00 Moscow time) on a special board of the Rossiya flight unit. Czech diplomats, in turn, arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, their flight to Prague is scheduled for 20:00.