MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russia is waiting for the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine to give explanations on media reports that munitions were kept at warehouses in the Czech settlement of Vrbetice in circumvention of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a comment on Monday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry drew attention to the information of the German newspaper Die Welt that "hundreds of anti-personnel mines" were stored at warehouses in the Czech settlement of Vrbetice, the diplomat pointed out.
"This information calls into question the Czech Republic’s conscientious fulfillment of its commitments under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Similar questions also arise to Bulgaria whose citizen, judging from the data of The New York Times, was the owner of armaments kept at the warehouses, and also to Ukraine as a potential recipient of these munitions," the comment says.
"We expect the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine to provide necessary explanations on the reports of anti-personnel mines kept at the Vrbetice depots in circumvention of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention," the Russian diplomat said.
On April 17, the Czech authorities claimed that Moscow was involved in the 2014 explosions at the Vrbetice depots in the country’s east, which killed two people, and expelled 18 Russian embassy employees, calling them intelligence officers. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged its resolute protest and expelled 20 Czech embassy employees in a reciprocal move.
Czech President Milos Zeman said on April 25 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 recent weeks.
Moreover, according to the Czech president, the country’s law enforcers found evidence that Bulgarian arms trader Emilian Gebrev had been involved in the explosions at the munitions depots in the village of Vrbetice in 2014.