PRAGUE, July 12. /TASS/. The Czech Republic needs Russia while Russia does not need the Czech Republic. This opinion was expressed on Monday by first vice-speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the republic’s parliament (lower house), chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) Vojtech Filip to the online Parlamentni listy media outlet while commenting on the Vrbetice incident in which, according to Czech authorities, Russian intelligence services were allegedly involved.
"We (the Czech Republic — TASS) need Russia, while it doesn’t need us one bit," the politician noted. "What the KSCM anticipated and warned about since the beginning of the "Vrbetice" hysteria, which was not based on evidence, has become a painful reality. Nobody has been accused [in connection to the Vrbetice incident], there is no evidence to issue an international arrest warrant. Czech entrepreneurs lose multimillion deals in Russia. The local [Russian] trade partners are turning away from them," he explained.
Unions of Czech entrepreneurs are outraged over the situation in Czech-Russian relations. After the Czech House under the auspices of the republic’s embassy which served as a mediator with Russian business partners closed in Moscow, they have been calling for the creation of an independent Czech entrepreneurship center in the Russian capital. However, as the lawmaker stressed, it is unclear whether Russia would want to resume cooperation with the Czech Republic after its anti-Russian actions.
The niche of Czech companies on the Russian market is being occupied by companies from other EU countries. "[One has] to pay for stupidity. For this all [Czech] citizens will pay with [higher] taxes. The betrayal of national interests should be punishable in prison. It is possible that the future government [of the Czech Republic which will be formed following the October 8 and 9 parliamentary election this year] will be brave enough to do so," the lawmaker noted.
In April, Czech authorities claimed that Moscow was allegedly involved in the explosions at an ammo storage facility in the village of Vrbetice in the eastern part of the country in 2014 that resulted in two deaths. The Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats who were alleged "officers of Russian intelligence services" after that. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest over this step taken "under conjured-up and ungrounded pretexts" and declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae. As Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova emphasized, over the past seven years Prague had neither premise, nor proof to accuse Russia of involvement in the Vrbetice incident.