Russia’s reaction to the expulsion of embassy staff from the Czech Republic was stronger than expected. In this regard, Prague intends to consider further actions on this issue. On April 19, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek, who was also acting as the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic, told this to reporters.
Hamacek noted that the deputy ambassador of the Czech Republic was expelled from Russia, while Prague does not plan to expel the Russian ambassador in response to this.
“The reaction from the Russian side turned out to be stronger than we expected. More diplomats were sent out. I have prepared for Prime Minister Babis (Andrei Babis – Ed.) A proposal on our further actions. First, I will inform him about it, ”Gamachek was quoted as saying by TASS.
Gamecek added that a plane will arrive in Prague on April 19 to pick up the staff of the Russian embassy and their families. The same plane will fly from Moscow to Prague with Czech diplomats on board.
Before that, on April 17, it became known that the Czech Republic was expelling 18 Russian diplomats. According to Gamachek, the diplomats were “identified” by the special services as officers of the GRU and SVR. He specified that Russian diplomats must leave the country within 48 hours.
In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia had declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in the Russian Federation persona non grata.
It is clarified that the Czech ambassador to the Russian Federation Vitezslav Pivonka has been informed about the expulsion of Czech diplomats from the Russian Federation. On the same day, Pivonka was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was told about the retaliatory measures of the Russian Federation for the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic. It was reported that the ambassador stayed in the department building for 20 minutes.