NATO shows solidarity with the Czech Republic in the conflict with Russia
In 2014 an ammunition dump burned in the Czech Republic, the government suspects Russia to be behind it. In the dispute, NATO reaffirms its support for the EU country.
In the conflict with Russia, the NATO countries have backed their allies, the Czech Republic. The 30 NATO countries declared their “full solidarity” with the government in Prague, as the military alliance announced.
The background: the Czech Republic accuses the Russian secret service of being involved in the explosion of a Czech ammunition dump in 2014. The Czech Republic, therefore, expelled 18 Russian diplomats on Saturday. Russia responded by expelling 20 Czech diplomats.
The NATO allies expressed themselves “deeply concerned about the destabilizing actions of Russia” in other countries of the alliance. Concrete steps against Moscow were not announced.
The Czech government then called on the partners in NATO and the EU on Tuesday to expel Russian diplomats through a coordinated approach on their part. However, the Allies have not agreed on any joint punitive measures against Moscow in the case.
Meanwhile, Russia let a request from the Czech government slip by. Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek had asked the Kremlin to allow all expelled Czech diplomats to return to the Moscow embassy by noon on Thursday. Otherwise, he threatened to massively reduce the number of Russian embassy staff accredited in Prague. There is talk of the deportation of up to 60 Russians.
Moscow reacted angrily to the request; the Kremlin spoke of “hysteria”. The Czech approach is seen as “extremely negative,” said spokesman Dmitri Peskow of the Interfax agency.