Czech Republic expels 18 Russian diplomats for spying

Published on April 18, 2021 by

The Czech Republic has expelled 18 Russian diplomats who it says are military spies. The Russian embassy staffers are being kicked out after Czech officials said they found ‘clear evidence’ that Moscow operatives were involved in deadly explosions at a military ammunitions warehouse in the east of the Czech Republic that exploded in October 2014, killing two, and causing wide spread damage and hundreds to evacuate. Two months later, another similar explosion occurred.
Seven years on, the Czech government says it has found a link between the explosions and Russian secret services.
The key suspects are believed to have been in the country at the time of the blast. Both men are also wanted in the UK in connection with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal – a former Russian spy – in 2018.
And 18 Russian embassy staffers accused of being military spies now have 48 hours to leave the country. Moscow has denied state involvement, and says there will be diplomatic consequences.
Czech officials are now considering excluding Russian corporations from an upcoming bid to build new reactors at the Duchovny nuclear power plant.
Choosing a contractor for the build has become a symbol of geopolitical allegiance for the Czech Republic.
Prague will lay out its grievances at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday. Another sign of growing international anger at Russia’s actions abroad.

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