Czech Prime Minister Andriy Babis summoned the country’s justice minister, Maria Benešova, after she claimed there were more than two versions of the 2014 Vrbetica bombings. This was announced on May 2 by First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek.
In an interview with Czech Television, Hamacek said that he was not pleased with Benesova’s words, as they sounded “for the benefit of someone other than the Czech Republic.” In addition, he stressed that the head of the Ministry of Justice has less information than the government.
Gamachek confirmed that, according to the country’s authorities, there is only one version – the “Russian trace”.
“The explosions involved the employees of the Russian GRU, specifically unit 29155. There are no other versions,” he said, adding that Czech President Milos Zeman had already discussed or will discuss this issue with Benesova.
On April 29, Benesova announced the existence of more than two versions of the incident with the explosions in Vrbetica in 2014 to the online edition novinky.cz.
According to the head of the Ministry of Justice, she made such a conclusion after the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, at which the incident was discussed. At the same time, she clarified that she had seen only the counterintelligence message, she did not have access to the “live” materials of the investigation.
On April 17, Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babis announced the suspicion of the Russian special services of involvement 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 to these actions, declared 20 employees of the Czech embassy in the Russian Federation persona non grata. As a result, after a series of mutual expulsions of diplomats, by May 31, seven diplomats, 25 technical staff and 19 people received on the spot will remain in the embassies of the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation.
On October 16, 2014, 50 tons of ammunition exploded in Vrbetica. Their fragments were scattered within a radius of 800 m from the place where the warehouse building was located. Two employees of the local company Imex Group, which rented a warehouse from the state-owned Military Technical Institute, were killed.