The Czech Republic has announced two employees of the Russian Embassy persona non grata
Hynek Moravec / Wikimedia Commons
Two employees of the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic declared persona non grata. This was stated on Friday at an emergency meeting in Prague, Prime Minister Andrew Babish. His words leads TASS.
“Two employees of the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic declared persona non grata,” – said the head of the Czech government. Diplomats will be expelled from the country.
Babish said that this is due to the recent “unfriendly” act that Russia has taken against the Czech Republic. He thanked the Czech intelligence agencies for giving the authorities information.
According to “the Present”, the expelled Russians are officials of the Federal Agency for Commonwealth of Independent States, compatriots living abroad and international humanitarian cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo).
In early April, as reported by the publication Respekt, citing sources in law enforcement agencies of the Czech Republic, at the airport Vaclav Havel in Prague from Russia there arrived a man with a Russian diplomatic passport. He was met by the car of the Russian diplomatic mission and taken to the Embassy. Later it became known the name of that person: Andrey Kondakov, an employee of Rossotrudnichestvo.
Intelligence services of the Czech Republic, according to journalists, I believe that he could bring to the Czech Republic poison ricin for poisoning three Czech politicians who take a critical stance towards Russia: the mayor of Prague Zdenek Griba, head of the administration of Prague 6 and ondřej Kolář mayor of the district of Prague-Reporyje Pavel Novotny. They are now protected.
Ondřej kolář was one of the main initiators of the Prague dismantling of the monument to Soviet Marshal Konev. Grib in late February was one of the initiators of the decision to rename the square in front of the Russian Embassy in honor of slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. And the Council of the Prague-Reporyje in December 2019 approved the installation of a monument to soldiers of the Russian liberation army (a formation of the Wehrmacht, which served Soviet prisoners of war under the command of General Andrey Vlasov). In Russia, this decision called blasphemy and accused the Czech Republic in perpetuating the memory of the Nazis and collaborators.
The publication suggested that a possible participant in the assassination was actually an employee of one of Russian security services and had access to diplomatic documents and assistance of employees of the Russian Embassy, According to sources in the Czech secret services, “his colleagues a month ago had to go from Russia to different European cities”.
Officially, the Czech government has not confirmed nor denied the article that talked about “agent ricin”. At the same time, the press Secretary of President Putin Dmitry Peskov has called the investigation of the Czech edition of “duck”, and the representatives of the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic announced the “egregious and false insinuations”.
Czech President Milos Zeman, known for his Pro-Russian stance, has previously questioned the veracity of the information brought to Prague the ricin. In an interview, “Czech radio” Zeman stated that, in his opinion, ricin is just a laxative. Later, the President had to clarify that he mixed up the poison with castor oil. In the Czech language, they have similar names.
“There is an annual report of the Czech counterintelligence that in five years or even ten saying that in the Czech Republic FSB, SVR, GRU and that is very strongly inflated staff of the Russian Embassy in Prague – which, for example, more than the Embassy in London or in Germany, told the newspaper Hospodarske Noviny Ondrej Soukup. – A large number of them are not really diplomats, but working for the secret services”.
In April, the buildings of the Czech Embassy in Moscow and consulates in St. Petersburg held a protest over the demolition of the monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev in Prague. The protesters in Moscow held on 5 April left for the Czech Embassy a smoke bomb and secured to the fence inscription “Stop fascism”. Another similar protest was held in St. Petersburg on 16 April, which also used smoke bombs. Responsibility for both actions was taken by the activists of the movement “Other Russia”.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic noted that the Russian authorities did not respond to the note, which the Ministry were sent for the April stock. In the end, the Czech Republic decided to strengthen security measures for employees of its Embassy in Moscow, dispatched workers of the security service of the Ministry of foreign Affairs.
In the Federation Council proposed to prepare a “mirror response” Prague
Russia needs the mirror to answer the expulsion of its diplomats from the Czech Republic, says first Deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Vladimir Jabbarov. His words leads to “Interfax”.
“I believe that things down is not necessary, (to answer. – Approx. “Interfax”) mirror definitely. And then tomorrow, each country will begin to expel our employees for any reason,” – said dzhabarov.
He stressed that the decision about what will be Russia’s response will be made “at foreign Ministry level and above.” “Practice shows that such things do not remain without consequences,” – said the Senator.
He suggested that the decision of Prague, to expel the Russian diplomats was an attempt to disrupt the visit of the Czech President Milos Zeman to Moscow for the Victory parade. “The fact that loyal to Russia, President Zeman has repeatedly said that he would go to the Victory parade in Moscow. At first he had planned on 9 may, and then said that when assigned a new date, he will go. Now got a new date recently, and the Czechs made such an unfriendly step – expelled two of our Embassy staff, hoping that Zeman in such a situation will cancel his visit to Russia,” – said dzhabarov.