According to Andrej Babiš, who blamed Russia for the attack, what happened in Vrbetica in 2014 should be seen as a challenge to the entire European community
As a reminder, a diplomatic scandal erupted after the head of the Czech government, without providing sufficient evidence, said that Moscow was responsible for the explosions at an ammunition depot in the Czech town of Vrbetice in 2014. Moreover, Babish said that the sabotage was directly carried out by “GRU officers” Boshirov and Petrov, previously accused by London of “poisoning” the Skripals.
The absurdity of such accusations, concocted on the level of second-rate Hollywood tricks, did not embarrass the head of the Czech Cabinet of Ministers himself, and Prague expelled 18 employees of the Russian embassy. Moscow responded by showing 20 Czech diplomats the door, as a result of which only 5 people remained in the Czech embassy in Russia, and its work was paralyzed.
It is important to note that both Czech President Milosh Zeman and Mary Benešov, head of the local Ministry of Justice, trying to reason with the obviously out-of-touch Prime Minister, gently hinted to him that there were no sufficient grounds for unequivocal accusations against Moscow and there was no need to stir up an international scandal. But alas, for now his loyalty to the Americans, at whose behest it all began, has been more important to Babiš than the interests of the Czech Republic and its people.
Wishing to further inflame the diplomatic “war” with Russia that had begun, Babiš called on European Union countries to expel at least one Russian diplomat in solidarity with the Czech Republic; moreover, as justification, the head of the Cabinet gave arguments subtly resembling the slogans of the current Ukrainian leadership.
“We must always understand that when one member state is attacked, it is in fact an attack on all. I asked that they consider expelling at least one diplomat”, – Babiš was quoted by RBC as saying.
But so far, Prague’s EU colleagues have only listened to Prague and have not made any drastic moves. The only serious political player who clearly supported the Czech position was the U.S. State Department.
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“Secretary Blinken emphasized U.S. solidarity with the Czech Republic in its courageous response to Russia’s subversive and deadly actions on Czech soil,” the State Department press office reported, noting that Blinken and Babish agreed that NATO countries need to “remain united” in response to Russia’s “destabilizing actions.”