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Prague shuts down two Russian consulate generals, two Czech consulates in Russia

The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic is summoning the ambassadors of the republic to Russia and Belarus to Prague for consultations, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala revealed

PRAGUE, February 24. /TASS/. The Czech Republic shuts down Russian consulate generals in Brno and Karlovy Vary, as well as two of its own missions in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, over the Russian military situation in Ukraine, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told journalists after the National Security Council meeting Thursday.

"We withdraw our agreement for operation of [Russian] consulate in Karlovy Vary and Brno. At the same time, we suspend the operation of our consulates in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg," Fiala said.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the Council meeting made a decision to recall Czech Ambassadors to Russia and Belarus for consultations. "The Minister of Foreign Affairs [of the Czech Republic] summons the ambassadors to Russia and Belarus to Prague for consultations," Fiala said.

The Czech Republic also stops issuing visas for Russian citizens. Exceptions were made for Russian citizens entitled to obtain visas over humanitarian concerns.

"We will stop collecting visa applications from Russian citizens in all our diplomatic missions. Exceptions were made for cases [of visa issuing] over humanitarian [concerns]," Fiala said.

Prague is coordinating its actions in regard to the situation in Ukraine with other EU and NATO member states. The republic will insist on adoption of the strictest anti-Russian sanctions and development of the harshest possible position towards Russia. Fiala emphasized that President Milos Zeman fully agrees with this approach. The Czech parliament’s lower chamber will convene at 18:00 Moscow time Thursday, and the government will convene on Friday, the Prime Minister said.