Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský on Monday asked the Russian diplomats employed in at least two Russian Consulates in Brno and Karlovy Vary to vacate the Czech Republic by March 12 or face consequences.
In an address on Czech Television on Sunday, Foreign Minister Lipavský threatened, that If they [Russian diplomats] do not exit the EU nation at once, they will not be recognized as diplomats, he said, warning about detention.
The Consulates of the Russian Federation in the two Czech cities were closed by the Czech government in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine last Thursday.
Putin’s army ‘committing war atrocities’: Czech FM
Czech Foreign Minister also iterated that the Russian Embassy in Prague will be limited to seven diplomats and 25 administrative workers, and any more count will result in severe repercussions. Lipavský also held an emergency meeting, and later issued remarks that Russian President Putin’s army is committing “war atrocities and war crimes on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.” The Czech Republic “is in favour of the strongest possible sanctions possible on the regime,” he said.
Czechs have expelled dozens of staff at the Russian Embassy in Prague, asking others to leave as soon as possible as Russia attacked Ukraine. Moscow had labelled such a move as “unbridled Russophobia” as it also threatened the EU nation of responding swiftly.
The diplomatic row between Russia and EU country Czech had escalated over the alleged role of Russian spies in a deadly blast at a Czech munitions depot in 2014. Since then the two nations have ordered each other to withdraw their diplomatic staff from embassies.
“Czech Republic is a self-confident country and will act as such. This is not aimed against Russians or the Russian nation, but a reaction to activities of Russian secret services on our territory,” the Czech Foreign Minister had said.
Russia had opted for reciprocity measures after the EU supported the expulsions stressing that the officers of the Russian military intelligence GRU [Main Intelligence Directorate] perpetrated these actions, accusing Moscow of indulging in violation of international law and threatening security and stability in Europe.