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Clear proof needed in Vrbetice incident spat — Czech presidential spokesman

Czech President Milos Zeman said on April 25 that the ongoing scandal may be a game of intelligence agencies
Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK
Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman

PRAGUE, April 26. /TASS/. Czech President Milos Zeman’s spokesman, Jiri Ovcacek underscored the need for "clear proof" of involvement of Russian intelligence agencies in the Vrbetice incident, commenting on the opposition’s criticism of Zeman’s Sunday televised address.

"Do you [Zeman’s critics] not need clear proof [of Russia’s involvement in the Vrbetice incident]? In 2003 [when the Iraq War began - TASS] you did not need them too. <...> It resulted in hundreds of thousands killed, a horrible massacre of Christians, emergence of the so-called Islamic State [outlawed in Russia], and a huge wave of migration [from the Middle East and Northern Africa to the EU]," Ovcacek noted.

According to the spokesman, the right-wing Czech opposition and the media supporting it distort the reality. "They lie in the morning, they lie in the first half of the day, they lie in the second half of the day, and they lie in the evening," the spokesman wrote.

On Sunday, Zeman claimed that the investigation mulls two versions of the 2014 explosion at the arms depot in Vrbetice - munitions mishandling and foreign sabotage. He did not rule out that the ongoing scandal may be a game of intelligence agencies.

Czech authorities link the incident with Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, also suspected of the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK’s Salisbury.

On April 17, Prague claimed that Moscow is involved in the 2014 incident, which killed two, and expelled 18 Russian embassy employees, calling them intelligence officers. The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its decisive protest and expelled 20 Czech embassy employees in a reciprocal move.