Czechs expel 18 Russians over huge depot explosion in 2014

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 18, 2021

These "unprecedented findings" point to the involvement of Russian military agents in the explosion that killed "two innocent fathers", Babis said.

He added: "The Czech Republic is a sovereign state and must adequately react".

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, who is also serving as the foreign minister, said the Russian embassy staffers were clearly identified as Russian military spies.

Czech authorities today accused the men of causing an explosion on October 16, 2014 at a warehouse with 58 tonnes of ammunition.

Hundreds had to be evacuated from nearby villages after those explosions. A statement by the US Embassy in Prague said on Saturday Washington "stands with its steadfast ally, the Czech Republic". "We appreciate their significant action to impose costs on Russian Federation for its unsafe actions on Czech soil".

The Czech Republic "has apparently made a decision to close its embassy in Moscow" by expelling 18 Russian diplomats, the Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying on Saturday.

"Prague is well aware of what will follow such tricks", Zakharova was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

The case was likely to significantly harm Czech-Russian relations.

"I have instructed our ambassadors at the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to inform our allies about the Vrbetice case".

'We are in a situation similar to that in Britain following the attempted poisoning in Salisbury in 2018, ' he said, referring to the case of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal who survived a nerve agent poisoning in Britain.

These are the same names used by two Russian intelligence officers the United Kingdom says carried out the poisoning in Salisbury, Wiltshire in 2018.

The individuals' photographs, shared online by the Czech police, indicate that the two wanted men are the same suspected Russian intelligence agents accused of trying to assassinate Sergey Skripal and his daughter in England in March 2018.

The pair then switched to one Moldovan passport in the name of Nicolai Popa, born July 18, 1979 and a Tajikistan passport in the name of Ruslan Tabarov, born October 23, 1975.

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