The Czech Republic accused Russia of an explosion at an ammunition depot seven years ago. According to Prague, this may be related to “GRU agents Petrov and Boshirov“, Which the British authorities accuse of poisoning another (only the former) agent Sergei Skripach and his daughter in Salisbury. The Czech Republic announced the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats and excluded Rosatom from the list of participants in the tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant. In response, Russia expelled the Czech diplomatic mission in almost its entirety from the country. Moscow is threatened with Karami also in Europe. There are even calls to ban Russian citizens from entering the EU.
Why an event of seven years ago suddenly surfaced now, AiF.ru found out.
What are the essence of the accusations?
“I cannot imagine that after the recent events, Rosatom was invited to participate in the security check process. There is nothing to check. Within a few days he will be removed from the opportunity to participate in the tender “, – such a statement made about the possible participation of the Russian state corporation in the tender for the construction of the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the south-east of the Czech Republic. Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Karel Havlicek… The refusal to Rosatom was announced the next day after a loud scandal, in which an inseparable couple again appears: the agents Petrov and Boshirov.
According to the Czech authorities, Russia was involved in the explosions at ammunition depots in the village of Vrbetice in the Zlín region in southeastern Czech Republic. The explosions took place on October 16 and December 3, 2014. The first explosion killed two people.
According to Czech investigators, before the explosions, ammunition belonging to one of the major Bulgarian arms dealers was to be delivered to the warehouse. He allegedly wanted to sell ammunition to Ukraine. The police believe that the explosive device detonated prematurely. The explosion was planned to be arranged when transporting equipment from the Czech Republic to another country.
In Prague, it is believed that the explosion was organized by two people who visited Prague and the Zlín region in the first half of October 2014. They used Russian passports in the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. In 2018, Great Britain accused Russian citizens under the same names of attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, a GRU defector, who was poisoned in Salisbury.
In Prague, they said that Petrov and Boshirov flew in from Moscow on October 13, 2014, after which they sent a request to visit the warehouses in Vrbetica. So far, the police have no evidence that they were there, writes the Czech edition of Respect. On October 16, they both left for Austria, and from there – to Moscow.
What did the Czech Republic do?
“I am very sorry that Czech-Russian relations will suffer so badly, but we have to react. We are in the same situation as the UK during the Salisbury poisonings, ”said the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek.
Russian-Czech relations have been on the rise in recent days due to negotiations on the supply of the Russian vaccine against the Sputnik V coronavirus to the country. However, now there is no need to talk about any supplies. Hamacek has canceled his April 19 visit to Russia for vaccine talks. Instead, he initiates a meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU countries to discuss the “Vrbetice case” with them.
The Czech Republic has already expelled 18 Russian diplomats. This decision was supported in Washington. The Russian embassy in Prague was attacked. The activists doused the walls with ketchup, which, according to them, was supposed to symbolize the blood of those killed in the explosion in Vrbetica.
Russia noted that no compelling evidence of the involvement of our country in the explosion was presented. “They would have remembered 1914! It is clear that this is some kind of nonsense. Russia has nothing else to do but blow up some warehouses. We have never considered the Czech Republic as our enemy at all, ”said First Deputy Head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov.
“This hostile step was a continuation of a series of anti-Russian actions undertaken by the Czech Republic in recent years. It is impossible not to see the American trace as well. In an effort to please the United States against the backdrop of recent US sanctions against Russia, the Czech authorities have even surpassed their overseas masters in this respect, ”the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow has already announced that 20 employees of the Czech embassy will be expelled from Russia. It should be noted that this is practically the entire composition of the Czech diplomatic mission. Now only 5 people will work there.
However, this is only the beginning of a major international scandal. There are already calls in the EU for tough action against Russia. In particular, former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that Russian citizens should be banned from entering the European Union. “Before the invasion of Crimea, these people arrogantly demanded a visa-free regime with the European Union. You just need to freeze all visas, except for emergency cases in the family. Europe’s security is at stake. Enough! ” – he declared.
“I do not know any details, except for those that were written about in the press, but the facts presented are not yet convincing for me,” he said. former Prime Minister of Slovakia, Valdai Club expert Jan Czarnogursky… According to him, it is not clear why the Czech Republic provided all this information seven years after the explosions occurred. “A surprising coincidence: reports of explosions orchestrated by Russian agents seven years later, just when Ukraine is experiencing its worst escalation in recent years. In Slovakia, we can observe how echelons with heavy military equipment are moving eastward. However, there are many countries in Eastern Europe that treat Russia well. This includes Slovakia. And, of course, many would very much like to make Russia lose these sympathies, ”Charnogursky said.
In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, it was reported that they were not going to disclose all the data on the explosion. “The Russian side should not know everything that we know about that operation,” Mr. Hamacek blurted out in a fog.