Czech Republic expels 3 Russian diplomats over spy-poisoning

ANI | Updated: Mar 29, 2018 07:03 IST

Prague [Czech Republic], Mar 29 (ANI): The Czech Republic is expelling three Russian diplomats in the aftermath of poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal at his home in Britain's Salisbury.

Two diplomats and one of the officials of the Russian trade mission in Czech Republic have to leave the country as of the latest 1 April, the Sputnik reported, citing the representative of the Russian embassy in Prague, as saying.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has branded the diplomats as "unreported spies", who are working under diplomatic cover.

Babis wrote on his page in a social network,"The use of a term 'diplomat' [in the light of the issue of expulsion] is wrong. In fact, these are people who are called 'unreported spies.' It seems that there are more of them in the Czech Republic than in any other country in Europe. Moreover, the Russian side scandalously accused us that this Novichok poison is allegedly being manufactured here. This is a blatant lie."

Retired military intelligence officer Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury city centre on March 4.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday told UK Parliament that 23 countries had expelled more than 115 Russian intelligence diplomats, which "represents an unprecedented series of expulsions that demonstrates to the Kremlin that we will not tolerate their attempts to flout international law, undermine our values or threaten our security".

Only a handful of EU countries including Austria, Portugal, Greece and Malta, have declined to take any step.

Many other countries have expelled one or two diplomats, a move designed to register support for the UK. (ANI)

iocl