Czech Republic expels over 60 Russian embassy employees

Czech Republic expels over 60 Russian embassy employees

The Czech government has ruled to expel 63 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said on Czech TV on Thursday.

"63 employees of the Russian embassy [will leave the Czech Republic] with members of their families," TASS cited him as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, Kulhanek said that the Czech Republic is reducing the number of employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague to correspond to the number of Czech diplomats in Moscow.

"We reduce the number of diplomats within the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague in accordance with the state of our embassy [staff] in Moscow. This decision enters into force today. Russia must call back its people [from the Czech Republic] by late May," the minister said.

Earlier, the Czech government stated that the republic’s embassy in Moscow has a lot fewer employees than the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague. Meanwhile, Rudolf Jindrak, head of the foreign department of the Czech president’s office, stated that the republic has "about 50 more" diplomats in Russia if the staff of all cultural and trade-economic missions is counted.

Prague accuses Moscow of involvement in the explosions at ammunition depots in the Czech village of Vrbetice in 2014. The Czech government claims that Russian special services were involved in the incident. The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a resolute process to the Czech Republic over this situation.

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