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Suspicions not enough to accuse Russia of involvement in Vrbetice incident — ex-diplomat

Jaroslav Basta noted that it was not acceptable to introduce principles when suspicion alone is enough for accusation, into the diplomatic relations

PRAGUE, August 3. /TASS/. Suspicions of Russian intelligence’s involvement in the Vrbetice incident are not a sufficient ground for Prague’s accusations against Russia, says Jaroslav Basta, former Czech Minister for intelligence oversight, former envoy in Russia and Ukraine.

"I do not believe that it is acceptable to introduce principles that work, for example, in the Me Too movement, when suspicion alone is enough for accusation, into the diplomatic relations. It is a good habit to investigate the case first, prove [the guilt] in a court, and only then demand compensations," Basta said, adding that the Czech Foreign Policy displays Russophobia.

"If speaking about relations with any foreign state in the last more than one hundred years, since 1918, we currently have the worst relations with Russia [across this entire period]. What happened this year is rather uncommon from a diplomatic standpoint. I believe the Czech diplomacy did not act like this [even] towards the Nazi Germany in late 1930s," Basta said.

According to the ex-diplomat, the Czech foreign policy became Ukrainized this year.

"We act - at least this year - like it is us who neighbors Russia and fights with it in Donbass," he said.

On June 28, Czech Foreign Ministry presented a note to the Russian Ambassador demanding compensation for the 2014 explosions at arms depots in Vrbetice, as Prague claims Russian intelligence agencies were involved in the incident. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova compared this act to extortion. According to Zakharova, Prague had neither preconditions nor evidence to accuse Russia of involvement for the last seven years.