EU deplores Czech diplomats expel
Brussels 19.04.2021 “The European Union stands in full support and solidarity with the Czech Republic and deplores Russia’s response to expel 20 Czech diplomats. Russia’s decision follows the announcement by the Czech Republic on 17 April to expel 18 Russian embassy staff, based on reasonable suspicion about the involvement of Russian military intelligence service (GRU) agents in the 2014 explosion of an ammunition depot in the town of Vrbětice, resulting in the death of two Czech nationals. These GRU agents were also in charge of the attempted murder of the Skripals in Salisbury in 2018” reads the statement of the EU spokesperson.
“The European Union is deeply concerned about the repeating negative pattern of dangerous malign behaviour by Russia in Europe. Russia must stop with these activities, which violates well-established international principles and norms and threaten stability in Europe”.
Prague authorities demand that Russian Embassy vacate an area of 5,000 square meters, currently occupied by the diplomatic mission. Before 1968, the mentioned area was a part of the adjacent Stromovka Park, Prague-7 district head Jan Cizinsky said on Twitter.
“The Prague city council called on the Czech government to hold negotiations in a bid to bring the Russian Embassy territory to the state that preceded the Warsaw Pact forces invasion in 1968,” he tweeted.
According to the Czech media, the area in question is about 5,000 square meters. The city authorities plan to plant trees and flowers on this area, as it was prior to August 1968, when a Soviet military camp was deployed there.
This decision was made amid a sharp escalation of relations between Russia and the Czech Republic, following the expulsion of 18 Russian Embassy employees and accusations of Russian intelligence’s involvement in explosions at arms depots in 2014.