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Czech Republic expels Russian diplomats over 2014 ammunition warehouse explosion
Updated: 2021-04-19 09:57:46 KST
The Czech Republic is expelling Russian diplomats in relation to Moscow's suspected involvement in an ammunition warehouse explosion in 2014, adding that it has collected clear evidence.

"As a foreign minister of the Czech Republic, I decided to deport all workers of the Russian embassy in Prague, who were clearly identified by our secret service as members of Russian secret service - SVR and GRU. 18 workers of the Russian embassy need to leave the Czech Republic in 48 hours."

The country's interior minister, who is also serving as the acting foreign minister, explained that the measure is based on "unequivocal evidence" provided by the Czech intelligence and security services.
He added the evidence points to the involvement of Russian military agents in the massive explosion on October 16th, 2014 in the country's east which killed two people.
Saying the Czech president, who is known for his pro-Russia views, has been informed of the development and has expressed his absolute support, the prime minister said the case is still under investigation.

"I would like to commend the work of our security forces, the police of the Czech Republic and the headquarters against organized crime, who did a professional job during the COVID pandemic. This case is still being investigated by law enforcement authorities. The Czech Republic is a sovereign state and must respond to these findings in an appropriate style."

Responding to the expulsion, Moscow's foreign ministry released a statement on Sunday which explained Russia will take retaliatory measures, describing the accusations as "unfounded and absurd."
It has also reportedly expelled 20 Czech diplomats, giving them 24 hours to leave.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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