MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Prague has no grounds to accuse Russia of being involved in the 2014 Vrbetice incident, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
"Over the recent seven years of investigation, the country’s government has had no grounds, let alone any evidence, to make such statements," she said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel.
"It has emerged that there were depots that were not controlled by that country’s government, by neither of its official structures in the Czech Republic," she said. "The most peculiar thing about this is that as follows from media reports, notably, from Western media reports, a private company owned by a citizen of a NATO state, specifically, Bulgaria, was operating in the Czech Republic."
Czech President Milos Zeman said earlier on Sunday that the Czech Security Information Service’s reports had no mention of any evidence of the presence of any "Russian agents" at the munitions depot in Vrbetice and this theory had surfaced only in the recent weeks. Moreover, according to the Czech president, the country’s law enforces found evidence that Bulgarian arms trader Emilian Gebrev had been involved in the explosions at munitions depots in the village of Vrbetice, in the Czech Republic’s east, in 2014.
On April 17, Czech officials announced a decision to expel 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague, who were allegedly "officers of Russian intelligence services." In response, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Russia’s capital personae non grata. Prague condemned this reponse as ‘inadequate" and demanded that they had to be returned back by 13:00 Moscow time on Thursday.
Prague claims Moscow was allegedly involved in the blasts at a munitions depots in the village of Vrtebice, back in 2014 that killed two people. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest to the Czech government.