WORLD Russia asks Czech embassy to cut employees in retaliation

WORLD

Russia asks Czech embassy to cut employees in retaliation

Global Times

19:14, April 23, 2021

Czech police are seen outside the Russian embassy in Prague, the Czech Republic, on April 22, 2021. The Czech Republic will reduce and put a cap on the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Prague to the same number at the Czech embassy in Moscow, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. (Photo: Xinhua)

A Czech policeman is seen outside the Russian embassy in Prague, the Czech Republic, on April 22, 2021. The Czech Republic will reduce and put a cap on the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Prague to the same number at the Czech embassy in Moscow, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. (Photo: Xinhua)

Czech police are seen outside the Russian embassy in Prague, the Czech Republic, on April 22, 2021. The Czech Republic will reduce and put a cap on the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Prague to the same number at the Czech embassy in Moscow, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. (Photo: Xinhua)

Photo taken on April 22, 2021 shows the Russian embassy in Prague, the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic will reduce and put a cap on the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Prague to the same number at the Czech embassy in Moscow, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. (Photo: Xinhua)

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded the Czech embassy in Moscow reduce the number of employees shortly after Prague made a mirror-like decision.

Earlier in the day, the Czech Foreign Ministry announced that it would reduce and put a cap on the number of employees in the Russian embassy in Prague to the same number at the Czech embassy in Moscow, and the Russian side has to withdraw its staff by the end of May.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it summoned Czech ambassador to Russia Vitezslav Pivonka and strongly protested to him against the new restrictions.

In response to "the hostile actions," the Russian ministry demanded the Czech embassy in Moscow reduce its staffers, since there is "significant disparity" in terms of the locally hired.

It remains unclear how many people from both sides will be affected this new round of diplomatic spat.

Pivonka was told that Moscow reserves the right to take further steps if the Czech Republic continues anti-Russian steps.

The Czech government has recently expelled 18 Russian embassy staffers for the alleged involvement of the Russian special services in two ammunition depot explosions in 2014.

The Russian side has denied the accusations and responded with expelling 20 staffers of the Czech embassy in Moscow.

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