WASHINGTON, May 2. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis have discussed the situation around the relationship between Moscow and Prague in a telephone call, the US Department of State said in a statement on Sunday.
"Secretary Blinken emphasized US solidarity with the Czech Republic in its courageous response to Russia’s subversive and deadly actions on Czech soil. Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Babis agreed on the need for continued unity and resolve in response to destabilizing actions by Russia," the statement said.
"The Czech government’s decisions to exclude [Russia’s state corporation] Rosatom from the Dukovany nuclear tender and dramatically reduce the Russian intelligence presence in Prague have increased the security of the Czech Republic and the NATO Alliance," the State Department added.
The Czech officials announced on April 17 the expulsion of 18 employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague, who, according to the Czech authorities, are "officers of Russia’s SVR and GRU intelligence agencies." Prague justified the move by citing claims of some newly-discovered circumstances related to an ammunition depot blast that had occurred in the eastern Czech village of Vrbetice in 2014. The Russian Foreign Ministry protested against the move and declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow personae non grata.