Czech Republic may expel ‘about 60’ Russian embassy staff, top diplomat says

The Czech Republic may expel "about 60" Russian Embassy staff members from Prague, if Russia does not make a decision to return to Moscow the Czech diplomatic mission employees declared personae non gratae, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said in an interview with the Lidove noviny newspaper published on Thursday. 

"The issue at hand would be about sixty people [Russian Embassy employees - TASS]. The aim is that this [the number of the Russian Embassy staff] should correspond to the state [of the staff], which is now [observed] in our Embassy in Moscow," the minister said.

Prague claims Moscow was involved in the 2014 blast at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice. Due to that, the Czech authorities announced the decision to expel 19 Russian Embassy staff described by that country as officers of Russia’s military intelligence. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged strong protest with Prague over the move and declared 20 Czech Embassy employees personae non gratae. (TASS)