MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russia will respond adequately to the expulsion of two employees of the Russian Culture Center in Prague, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.
It was "dishonest and inappropriate" of the Czech side to make such an unfriendly step, the ministry said. "The Czech authorities have done serious damage to the Russian-Czech relations, without any grounds," it noted. "Prague’s actions will be followed by an adequate response, moreover they will be reckoned with while developing Russia’s policy towards the Czech Republic. Such provocations should be answered for."
The Czech media reported back in April, citing sources in the Czech special services, that a Russian national holding a diplomatic passport had allegedly arrived in Prague carrying ricin, a highly potent toxin. The man allegedly headed to the Russian embassy and the poison could be meant for several Czech municipal politicians who had been behind the dismantling of the monument to Soviet Marshal Konev.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said back then he doubted those allegations could have anything with the reality and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed those allegations as absurd, saying that no one "in full possession of his faculties" could take them as anything real.
On June 5, Russia’s embassy in Prague received a note from the Czech foreign ministry notifying of the expulsion of two embassy staffers. Before that, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told a news conference that two Russian diplomats had been declared personae non grata. He admitted however that the ricin case had proved to be fabricated. It followed a false signal from a Russian embassy employee to the Czech counterintelligence services about allegedly plotted attack on Czech officials, he said.