63 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague should leave the Czech Republic. This was announced on Thursday on Czech television by Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulganek.
“We are talking about 63 employees of the Russian embassy who [will leave the Czech Republic] with family members,” he said.
Kulganek said earlier Thursday that the Czech Republic is reducing to the number of Czech diplomats in Moscow the number of Russian employees at the Russian embassy in Prague.
“We are limiting the number of diplomats in the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague in accordance with the state [of the staff] of our embassy in Moscow. This decision comes into force today. The Russian side received a deadline to recall its people [from the Czech Republic] until the end of May,” the minister said.
The Czech government previously stated that the staff of the republic’s embassy in Moscow is significantly less than the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague. Meanwhile, the director of the international department of the presidential administration, Rudolf Jindrak, said that, if we count together with the cultural and trade and economic representatives, the number of Czech employees in the Russian Federation, on the contrary, is more – “by about 50 people.”
Prague attributed Moscow involvement in the 2014 explosions at an ammunition depot in the eastern village of Vrbetice in the country and, expelling Russian diplomats, referred to them as Russian intelligence officers. The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a strong protest to the Czech side.