Brussels 17.05.2021 The Czech Republic and the United States have been put on Russia’s blacklist of unfriendly states because of their hostile steps against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, May 17. (Image: Moscow, Russia, photo Evgeny Grabovsky)
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“Their unfriendly steps were the reason why we took a decision to even the conditions our diplomatic missions are working on in each other’s territories – ours in the Czech Republic and the United States, and, correspondingly, theirs in Russia. As a concrete step that had already been announced, we asked them to reduce their locally hired personnel, both Russian nationals and citizens of third countries, to the level of the analogous category of employees we have in our missions in the Czech Republic and the United States,” he told a news conference when answering a TASS question.
He noted that the Czech Republic was “disgracefully” trying to get out of the situation “with the explosions of seven years ago.” “No one has been able to explain what the investigation has been doing all these years,” he said. “They are tying themselves into knots, so to say, inventing more and more theories. They’d better straighten out the tangle before expelling diplomats and accusing them of what the investigation has not yet found out. And, by the way, judging by how they are doing it, the investigation is unlikely to yield any concrete results,” he said.
“In the United States, you know, our diplomatic property was arrested and for years we have been denied access there to see the condition Russia’s national property that was illegally seized is in. Expulsions of Russian diplomats happen regularly,” Lavrov said, adding that Moscow had repeatedly warned that it could not last forever.
Last Friday, Russia made public a government-endorsed list of unfriendly states featuring only the United States and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic will be allowed to hire no more than 19 Russian nationals to work for its embassy, and the United States, not a single one.
“The European Union deplores the publication of Measures in “Response to Unfriendly Actions of Foreign States”, following the unprecedented Decree signed by President Putin on 23 April. The EU considers the allegations of unfriendly actions as unfounded”.
“This Decree is incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 with regard to the duties of the host state to secure the functioning of diplomatic missions.
“We call on Russia to review its decision, to avoid a further deterioration of our relationship that is already under strain. The EU will continue to coordinate its position with its partners.
“We express full solidarity with the Czech Republic, an EU Member State, and the United States of America and call on Russia to fully respect the Vienna Convention”.