The Czech Republic is seeking support abroad as Russian GRU agents may attack an ammunition depot in Vrbětice. On Monday, interim Foreign Minister John Hamek will ask for solidarity with the Czech Republic in a group of EU foreign ministers. This means that European countries will also have to expel some Russian diplomats.
As a result of the new facts about the 2014 eruption, relations between the Czech Republic and Russia have cooled sharply and unprecedentedly. Chekhov decided to expel eighteen workers from the Russian embassy who were identified as members of the Russian secret services. Russia repayed the move with even more severe currency and expelled 20 staff from the Czech embassy within 24 hours. Russia considers the findings of Czech intelligence absurd, and instead considers the forced exit of diplomats to be US influence.
The relationships between the two major powers that have been frozen in recent years are precise. Currently, they are increasing mainly by deploying Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, which has been criticized by NATO and many European countries, in addition to the United States. Many of them, such as Poland, Italy and Bulgaria, have expelled several Russian diplomats in recent weeks, which Moscow calls “anti-Russian hysteria.”
Humek wants to hear the same unity as Britain after the poisoning of Scribal
The whole affair is closely reminiscent of the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skribal in 2018 in Salisbury, England. Czech reporters report that an attempt to assassinate Skribal with a novelty may have been attributed to Russian GRU agents. The United Kingdom expelled 23 Russian diplomats at the time, and thirty countries, including the Czech Republic, took similar action, expelling three diplomats. NATO has deported seven ambassadors. Russia then reacted in a glass film. According to the British BBC, this is the largest joint deportation of Russian diplomats in history.
According to Hamak, history could be repeated and other EU member states could expel Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the Czech Republic. He considers this a normal activity. On Monday, as in the United Kingdom three years ago, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers wants to hear unity at the meeting. On Saturday, Prime Minister Andrzej Bobic informed European Council President Charles Michel about the case.
Rudolf Jindrock, director of the Foreign Office at Fort Brock, considers the situation to be very serious, but paradoxically sees it as “the star hour of our diplomacy”. “We can now show the alliance of our allies in NATO and negotiate with them how other states can show solidarity with us. This is definitely an opportunity despite all the difficulties of the situation,” he said on Sunday. When Jacob Gulhenek took office as diplomat on Wednesday, he denied that everything would be made more difficult by the rotation of foreign ministers.
Support from abroad
Support for the Czech Republic has already been expressed by many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. “The United Kingdom fully supports its Czech allies and has shown how far Russian intelligence is prepared to go in order to carry out dangerous and malicious operations in Europe,” said British Foreign Secretary Dominique Robb. He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the explosion in Vrbětice.
The United States commended the actions of Chechnya towards Russia. “The United States stands by its permanent ally, the Czech Republic. We appreciate his remarkable decision to hold Russia accountable for its dangerous actions in the Czech region,” said Jennifer Bacchusova, Czech Republic’s deputy ambassador.
Some member states of the European Union, led by Slovakia, also spoke. “Slovakia is closely monitoring the suspicions of atrocities committed abroad, resulting in loss of life and major damage in Vrbětice. We stand by the Czech Republic and support the action taken,” President Susanna Čaputová wrote on Twitter.
Poland, Germany and Ukraine also recently joined them. “Poland fully supports the Czech Republic’s decision to expel Russian ambassadors involved in the 2014 ammunition depot explosion,” the Polish Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter. “The unity and rapid action of the allies strengthens us,” he added.
The German ambassador to Prague, Christoph Israng, said he was concerned about the results of the Czech authorities’ investigation. “Germany stands with its Czech partners and friends.” He wrote Twitter Diplomat. Dmitry Kuleba, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, also expressed support for the Czech Republic. “In Ukraine we are well aware of Russia’s insidious methods,” said the Ukrainian minister, quoted by the union server.