While deploying a campaign against Russia, the Czech Republic is forced to divert attention from the provocations of the United States in Belarus. This was announced to Izvestia by the Federation Council.
On April 19, First Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Acting Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek planned to visit Moscow to discuss the possibility of purchasing the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, but over the weekend the countries showed reciprocity by sending embassy staff.
So, Prague sent home 18 diplomats of the Russian diplomatic service in the Czech Republic, and Russia announced 20 employees of the Czech representative office in the Russian Federation persona non grata. On April 19, the Czech Foreign Ministry announced that the issue of using the Russian vaccine was no longer on the agenda, only if approved by the European regulator.
The reason for the aggravation of relations was Prague’s accusation of the Russian special services of alleged involvement in the explosion that took place at an arms depot in Vrbetica in 2014.
On April 17, Jan Hamacek announced that Russian diplomats were “identified” by the special services as officers of the GRU and SVR. According to the Czech media, they planned to prevent the supply of ammunition to Ukraine, which was at the time of hostilities.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that the United States is behind the information campaign of the Czech Republic against Russia, and its goal is to hide a number of problems that have accumulated in the West. The Federation Council also believes that Washington is behind the aggravation of relations between Prague and Moscow.
“The conductor of this campaign to expel diplomats from various European countries sits in Washington. It is worth paying attention to how such scandals appear. Either they divert the attention of the world community from a more important event, or it is done out of a sense of solidarity towards NATO partners, ”said Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy committee of the Federation Council for international politics, in an interview with Izvestia.
According to him, in this case, the information released about the attempts on the life of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and his family, being prepared by the American special services, became the catalyst. In order to divert attention from this and protect the “senior partner”, the Czech authorities have shown such an initiative, the senator said.
According to Fyodor Lukyanov, director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, the incident between Moscow and Prague signals the return of the Cold War era.
“Over the past 30 years, we have become accustomed to the fact that the work of diplomats is extensive, and the possibilities for their cooperation are in various spheres: from political and economic, educational and intelligence. Now everything has changed. The partnership is replaced by suspicion and confrontation, the Cold War has returned in full measure. Only the West is now against Russia and China, ”the political scientist emphasized.
On April 19, 18 diplomats left the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic. Together with the Russian employees, their families and children left, nine of whom were born in the republic.
Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:
“Ambassadorial refusal: why does the Czech Republic need a conflict with Russia”