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Prague ‘got what it deserved’ in pursuit of confrontation with Russia, says intel chief

The foreign intelligence service head decried the tactic of wrecking the "rather delicate and fragile" framework of international stability and security by certain Western political leaders
Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS
Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin
© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. The Czech Republic in its ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia chose to sour relations and got what it deserved, said Sergei Naryshkin, director of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, on Friday.

"Political leaders, along with the elite from a clique of Western nations have displayed maniacal persistency in their step-by-step tactic to wreck the rather delicate and fragile framework of international stability and security. This time the Czech Republic - a country with a rather limited sovereignty in foreign policy affairs - came to the fore in this respect. It decided to gamble on escalation and confrontation in relations with Russia, and to tell you the truth, it got what it deserved," said Naryshkin, president of the Russian Historical Society, at the opening of the archive exhibition entitled: The Saved World Remembers: Cable Wires and Messages of Congratulations to the Soviet People on the Occasion of Victory over Fascism.

On April 17, Czech officials announced the expulsion of 18 staff members of the Russian Embassy in Prague suspected of being officers of Russia’s intelligence services. The Czech side described Moscow’s proportionate retaliation - the declaration of 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow as personae non-gratae - as inadequate measures and demanded their return by 13:00 Moscow time on Thursday.

Prague contends that Moscow was allegedly behind the 2014 blasts at ammunition warehouses in Vrbetice in the east of the country. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest with the Czech side.