The German publication World Economy conducted an investigation into the alleged involvement of the Russian special services in the explosions at warehouses in Vrbetica in 2014, and pointed out inconsistencies in the accusations of the Czech authorities. The post appeared on Thursday, April 22nd.
So, in Germany they drew attention to the presence of antipersonnel mines of the Czech army, which exploded during the incident. The publication says that in 1997 the Czech Republic became a member of the Ottawa Agreement on antipersonnel mines, according to which, by 2014, the country should have stopped storing charges of this type.
Mines in the Czech Republic lay in warehouses for more than 20 years, perhaps they even belonged to the Cold War, however, according to the OSCE, during such a period, explosives usually decompose. This could be the reason for the sudden detonation, the publication emphasized.
Journalists also noted the strangeness of the expulsion of Russians for alleged sabotage in warehouses precisely in 2021, although the composition of the Russian embassy has changed since 2014.
“If an employee of the Russian Embassy in Prague really took part in such an act of sabotage, then it is unlikely that he is in the diplomatic service in the Czech Republic. The rationale for the republic looks unconvincing, ”the article says.
Tensions in relations between Russia and the Czech Republic arose after the Prime Minister of the republic Andrei Babis announced on April 17 that the country’s authorities suspected Russian special services of involvement in the explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. On the same day, the Czech Republic announced its decision to expel 18 Russian diplomats.
Moscow, in turn, on April 18 announced 20 employees of the Czech embassy in the Russian Federation persona non grata. The accusations in Russia were categorically denied, and the fact that Prague does not publish a report on the explosion, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova called evidence of a lie.
As a result of a series of announcements by the parties on additional measures, by May 31, seven diplomats, 25 technical staff and 19 people hired on the spot will remain in the embassies of the Czech Republic and Russia.