Russia has an extremely negative attitude to the situation with the Czech Republic. This was announced on Thursday, April 22, by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov.
“Now our diplomats are working, we of course treat all this hysterics extremely negatively, this is the only thing I can say,” he told reporters.
Earlier that day, it became known that the Czech Republic could expel “about 60” employees of the Russian embassy from Prague if Russia does not decide by 13:00 on April 22 to return to Moscow the employees of the Czech diplomatic mission declared persona non grata.
Relations between Russia and the Czech Republic have become strained after the Prime Minister of the country, Andrei Babis, announced on April 17 that the Russian special services were suspected of being involved in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. On the same day, the Czech Republic decided to expel 18 Russian diplomats.
Moscow, in response, declared 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. In the Czech Republic, the reaction of the Russian side was called stronger than expected.
On April 20, the Foreign Ministers of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) expressed solidarity with the latest actions taken by the Czech authorities in relation to Russia. Before that, it became known that the Czech authorities called on the allies in the EU and NATO to also expel Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity.
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