The expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic is a demonstration of Prague’s support for American sanctions against Moscow, said Vladislav Belov, deputy director of the RAS Institute of Europe.
Belov drew attention to the fact that on the eve of the persona non-grant of Russian diplomats, Poland declared, guided by the same considerations.
“One can only express regret that the Czech Republic has decided to show its solidarity with the content of the US sanctions, confirming its attitude towards Russia in this vein,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying on Saturday, April 17.
Behind these incidents lies the desire of the United States to reinforce its anti-Russian course by coordinating actions with the “collective West,” he said.
The expert drew an analogy with the events of 2018, when Washington tried to initiate a similar campaign by Western countries on the poisoning of ex-GRU officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
“The United States, along with its sanctions, put a litmus test from the point of view of the pro-American members of the European Union. Now it is, of course, Poland and the Czech Republic, which are ready to introduce additional sanctions at the level of their individual states. Brussels is not doing this, ”he said.
Belov also noted that, despite the difficult situation with the Minsk process, France and Germany did not impose sanctions on Russia either.
Earlier on Saturday, it became known that the Czech Republic was expelling 18 Russian diplomats. According to the first vice-premier, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as the interim head of the Czech Foreign Ministry Jan Hamacek, 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 turn, the first deputy head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Vladimir Dzhabarov, said that the Russian response to the expulsion of 18 diplomats from the Czech Republic should be proportional.
On April 15, the Polish Foreign Ministry declared three Russian ambassadors persona non grata. The basis for this decision is the violation by Russian diplomats of the “conditions of diplomatic status” and the fact that the diplomats “acted to the detriment of the republic.”
On the same day, it became known about the expulsion of 10 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington.