Czechs demand damages from Russia over 2014 blast

The Czech government has demanded that Moscow pay compensation for a 2014 arms depot explosion that Prague has blamed on Russian intelligence agents, news media have reported.

Russias ambassador to the Czech Republic, Aleksandr Zmeyevsky (right).

Russia’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Aleksandr Zmeyevsky (right).Photo: CTK Photo/Michal Kamaryt

The Czech foreign ministry on Monday summoned the Russian ambassador to request full damages for the huge blast, which Prague says was caused by Russian spies, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The ministry said Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek handed Russia’s ambassador, Aleksandr Zmeyevsky, a diplomatic note “invoking the responsibility of the Russian Federation under international law for its involvement in the explosions of ammunition depot in Vrbětice in 2014.”

Czech leaders said in April they had evidence pointing to the involvement of two Russian military intelligence agents in the explosion, which killed two people in the Czech Republic’s southeastern Moravia region.

Russia has denied any responsibility.

Prague in April announced the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats over suspicions that Russian military intelligence officers were involved in the 2014 explosions.Protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Prague on Sunday.Protesters in front of the Russian embassy in Prague in April. Photo: EPA/MARTIN DIVISEK

Top diplomats from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary earlier this year voiced solidarity with the Czech Republic amid tensions with Russia.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, polskieradio.plrferl.orgapnews.comirozhlas.czhromadske.radio

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