BRUSSELS, April 24. /TASS/. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov considers expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic and the attempt to involve the European Union and NATO to be a clinical case of the west’s anti-Russia psychosis.
"The Czech story is not an isolated episode. That is part of the west’s current anti-Russia psychosis. It is even no longer a hysteria, it is indeed psychosis, an absolutely clinical case," he told TASS on Saturday.
The reasons of the Czech scandal lie in domestic concerns of the west, the envoy stressed, adding that they largely correspond to the motives of the 2018 story in Salisbury promoted amid Britain’s withdrawal from the EU (Brexit). "Surely, it is yet another attempt to divert the attention of own citizens away from domestic concerns both in EU countries and in other western states. Take the situation with vaccination, vaccines’ supplies to the EU as an example, it is already shifting to the legal field as the European Commission brings a legal action against a major British-Swedish producer [AstraZeneca that executes the contract on supply of vaccine to the EU only by 30% - TASS]," he said.
Chizhov also noted the difficult discussions in the EU on "the climate law announced with great fanfare, whose participants cannot even agree on definitions yet."
"Overall, the reasons largely correspond to the motives of the 2018 story promoted amid serious domestic problems in Britain, particularly around Brexit," he added.
"This time around the European Union and the EU foreign service said that the issue of expulsion of diplomats lies solely under cognizance of member-states. It is hoped that they learnt from the grave political mistake they made in 2018, particularly, regarding understanding how the Russian side has responded and will be responding in such cases," he said.
The Russian-Czech relationship deteriorated sharply after the Czech officials announced on April 17 the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague, who, according to the Czech authorities, are "officers of Russia’s SVR and GRU intelligence agencies." Prague justified the move by citing claims of some newly-discovered circumstances related to an ammunition depot blast that had occurred in the eastern Czech village of Vrbetice in 2014. The Russian Foreign Ministry protested against the move that Prague had taken "under false pretenses," and declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow personae non grata.