Russia will not put up with “what is being done in the Czech Republic” and in Bulgaria, said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“We will not tolerate it, and we do not tolerate it anymore. We clearly demonstrate this,” he said on Channel One.
Peskov stressed that this applies to the Baltic countries and other states that have expressed their solidarity with Prague and Sofia.
Prague in mid-April accused Moscow of involvement in the explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetice in 2014. The Czech Republic has expelled 18 employees of the Russian embassy from the country. In response, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech diplomatic mission persona non grata and called the accusations in the incident absurd, unfounded and far-fetched.
The Czech Foreign Ministry demanded that Russia return the expelled diplomats. Without receiving a response, Prague again announced a reduction in the composition of the Russian embassy, giving the deadline until the end of May.
Later, the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office said that the six Russians may be related to the explosions at factories and military warehouses in 2011, 2015, and 2020. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Sofia decided to outdo the Czech Republic with such statements. As a result, Bulgaria declared two employees of the Russian embassy persona non grata.
Slovakia and the Baltic states have expelled employees of Russian diplomatic missions out of solidarity. In addition, the United States, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania have made similar steps. Moscow responds in a mirror way.
In some cases, the measures became part of the sanctions policy, in others-there were accusations of espionage. The agencies also referred to the Vienna Convention, which allows not to name the reason.