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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on current developments in Czech-Russian relations

 

The available evidence clearly indicates that Russian intelligence officers were behind the explosions in the ammunition warehouse in Vrbětice. This is not only a serious crime that has led to the loss of innocent Czech lives, a general threat and enormous material damage, but is also a blatant violation of Czech sovereignty and international law.

The Czech Republic had no choice but to respond appropriately to this hostile act. Therefore, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček, in his capacity as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, in close coordination with the highest constitutional officials, decided to expel the staff of the Russian Embassy in Prague, whom the Czech Republic identified as SVR and GRU agents. He also informed our allies in the EU and NATO about the nature of the case. The Czech Republic appreciates all the expressions of solidarity it has received from its partners and allies. Negotiations for the further possible coordinated approach are ongoing. 

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic strongly opposes the steps taken by Russia against the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Moscow. Given the context of the events in Vrbětice, it considers these steps to be completely inadequate and disproportionate, deliberately aimed at paralysing the functioning of the embassy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic reserves the right to take further steps that will respond to the seriousness of the Russian Federation's action towards the Czech Republic.

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