MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. The Czech Republic and the United States have been put on Russia’s blacklist of unfriendly states because of their hostile steps against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"Their unfriendly steps were the reason why we took a decision to even the conditions our diplomatic missions are working on in each other’s territories - ours in the Czech Republic and the United States, and, correspondingly, theirs in Russia. As a concrete step that had already been announced, we asked them to reduce their locally hired personnel, both Russian nationals and citizens of third countries, to the level of the analogous category of employees we have in our missions in the Czech Republic and the United States," he told a news conference when answering a TASS question.
He noted that the Czech Republic was "disgracefully" trying to get out of the situation "with the explosions of seven years ago." "No one has been able to explain what the investigation has been doing all these years," he said. "They are tying themselves into knots, so to say, inventing more and more theories. They’d better straighten out the tangle before expelling diplomats and accusing them of what the investigation has not yet found out. And, by the way, judging by how they are doing it, the investigation is unlikely to yield any concrete results," he said.
"In the United States, you know, our diplomatic property was arrested and for years we have been denied access there to see the condition Russia’s national property that was illegally seized is in. Expulsions of Russian diplomats happen regularly," Lavrov said, adding that Moscow had repeatedly warned that it could not last forever.
Last Friday, Russia made public a government-endorsed list of unfriendly states featuring only the United States and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic will be allowed to hire no more than 19 Russian nationals to work for its embassy, and the United States, not a single one.