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Czechs Blame 2014 Blasts at Ammunition Depots on Elite Russian Spy Unit

“Czech Republic is a sovereign state and should react accordingly to these unprecedented revelations,” Mr. Babis added.

The Czech Republic, a member of NATO, has expelled Russian diplomats previously however has by no means ordered as many out because it did on Saturday. The expulsions got here simply days after Washington expelled 10 Russian diplomats over interference in final 12 months’s U.S. presidential election and the hacking of laptop programs utilized by authorities companies.

Poland, one other NATO member, additionally expelled Russia diplomats in latest days, ordering three to go away on Thursday in what Warsaw mentioned was a gesture of “solidarity” with the US.

The Czech motion, nonetheless, was extra extreme and unusually sweeping.

“I’m sorry that Czech-Russian relations will endure, nonetheless, the Czech Republic should react,” the appearing overseas minister, Jan Hamacek, mentioned in Prague.

What prompted the ammunition depot blasts, which started within the village of Vlachovice and resumed at a close-by depot in December 2014, has by no means been totally defined.

They coincided with efforts by Ukraine to extend its provide of weapons from overseas because it struggled to get better jap territory seized by Russian-backed rebels in the summertime of 2014.

Czech media reviews on Saturday additionally linked the blasts to what they mentioned might have been a Russian drive to halt the supply of Czech-made weapons to forces combating in Syria towards President Bashar al-Assad, a detailed ally of Moscow.

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