The last group of Russian diplomats who fell under the reduction left the Czech Republic, according to the representative of the Russian Embassy in Prague, Maria Semenova.
“A group of 60 representatives of Russian foreign missions in Prague flew to Moscow on Monday at 16.00,” the representative of the diplomatic mission said.
On May 29, a group of 54 embassy employees left the Czech Republic.
On April 17, the Czech authorities announced their decision to expel 18 Russian diplomats. According to the European media, the expelled diplomats were Russian intelligence officers and worked undercover. It was alleged that Russian special services were allegedly involved in an explosion at an ammunition depot in the Czech village of Vrbetice, which killed two people.
Moscow has denied the accusations, and in response, the Russian Foreign Ministry has declared 20 Czech diplomats persona non grata. Later, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulganek demanded that Russia return the expelled diplomats. Without receiving a positive response, Prague again announced a reduction in the size of the Russian embassy, giving the deadline until the end of May.
On May 14, the Russian government approved the list of unfriendly states, at the moment it includes only the Czech Republic and the United States. The Czech Foreign Ministry, in turn, said that Moscow’s decision to include the republic in the list of unfriendly countries is considered “as another step towards aggravating relations” not only with Prague but also with the European Union and its allies. Czech President Milos Zeman called Russia’s decision “ stupid.”