Russia expels diplomats from Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

Russia has seven people from Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in retaliation for the expulsion of a Russian envoy on Wednesday following Czech accusations that Russian intelligence was behind a deadly explosion in 2014. Ordered the expulsion of the diplomat.

Since the end of the communist era in 1989, Moscow and Prague have been trapped in the largest line, and as Russia’s west relations prolong its post-Cold War lows, a series of diplomacy with other European Unions and NATO countries. I was involved in a conflict.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given three Slovak and two Lithuanian diplomats, as well as an envoy from Latvia and an envoy from Estonia, a week to leave Russia.

Russia has accused four countries of showing “pseudo-solidarity” with the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic ordered most Russian diplomatic staff in Prague to leave last week after accusing Russian spies of being behind the blast in a powder magazine.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria may have involved six Russians in four explosions between 2011 and 2020 in Bulgaria’s arsenal, which stored ammunition for export to Ukraine and Georgia on Wednesday. He said he was collecting evidence about.

Russia branded the Czech accusation as ridiculous and dismissed the Bulgarian investigation.

Moscow’s latest diplomatic expulsion will take place a few days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to create a list of “unfriendly” states subject to restrictions.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the list will be released shortly on Wednesday. Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the ministry, has already confirmed that the United States will participate in it.

The Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday that the list could include Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states.

The two suspects nominated by Czech authorities in the 2014 ammunition detonation explosion, also known as Ruslambo Sylov and Alexander Petrov, are part of the Russian GRU military intelligence elite unit 29155 by the New York Times in 2019. Was reported to be.

After publication, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the article was equivalent to “pulp fiction.”

Britain has charged two people with attempted murder after poisoning former Russian spy Sergey Scripal and his daughter with nerve agent Novichok in 2018 in Salisbury, England. Russia denied involvement in the case.

By Anton Kolodyazhnyy, Anastasia Teterevleva, Andrius Sytas, Tsvetelia Tsolova

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