WASHINGTON, April 19. /TASS/. The US supports the decision of the Czech Republic to expel 18 Russian embassy employees from the country over claims that they were allegedly tied to the 2014 blast at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Twitter on Sunday.
"The U.S. stands with the Czech Republic in its firm response against Russia’s subversive actions on Czech soil. We must act firmly in response to Russian actions that compromise the territorial integrity, energy security, or critical infrastructure of our allies and partners," he wrote.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek on Saturday announced the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian embassy in Prague, who were allegedly "officers of Russian special services." The move came in the context of the newly leveled circumstance of the 2014 blast at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice. According to reports, "officers of Russia’s military intelligence" were allegedly involved in this incident.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a resolute protest over this step taken "under invented and ungrounded pretexts" and vowed response measures would follow. Twenty employees of the Czech embassy in Moscow were declared personae non gratae in response to the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats from that country, the ministry announced on Sunday.