Prague expels 18 Russian envoys

Moscow/Prague, April 18

Russia said on Sunday Czech accusations that Russian spy services were behind an explosion in an ammunition depot in 2014 were unfounded and absurd and it would retaliate for Prague’s expulsion of 18 Russian embassy staff.

The Czech Republic said it had informed NATO and European Union allies about suspected Russian involvement in the blast, which killed two people, and the matter would be addressed at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday.

The expulsions and allegations by the Czechs have triggered its biggest dispute with Russia since the 1989 end of Communist rule, when Prague was under Moscow’s domination for decades.

The incident also poured more fuel on the worst Russian-Western tensions since the Cold War, stirred in part by Russia’s military build-up on its Western borders and in Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. — Reuters

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