2014 arms depot explosions in Vrbetice are ‘acts of state terrorism’ by Russian agents against Czech Republic, declares Senate
The Czech Senate has declared two explosions at ammunition depots, in 2014, as acts of state terrorism, following a statement by Prime Minister Andrej Babis blaming Russian intelligence officers for orchestrating the incidents.
Senators have also called for the renunciation of the Czech-Russian agreement on friendship and cooperation.
On Wednesday, 67 of 72 parliamentarians present voted for the state terrorism declaration and recommended to the government that the case be discussed with the UN Security Council.
On April 17, Babis announced that, following investigations by the country’s Police and Security Information Service, two 2014 explosions were likely carried out by officers from the GU, Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency.Also on rt.com Czech PM says Russia did NOT attack country, alleged blowing up of munition depot was ‘not act of state terrorism’
The Kremlin has denied all accusations of Moscow’s involvement, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling them “inflammatory and unfriendly.” Likewise, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attacked Prague for negligence, saying that the Czechs simply failed to regulate “private arms companies,” and has pinned the blame on Russia.
The explosions, which took place in October and December that year in Vrbetice, killed two people. Accusations from Prague suggest that the depots were holding ammunition due to be sent to Ukraine through Emilian Gebrev, a Bulgarian arms dealer. Because of this, the Czech PM has publicly disagreed with the Senate, saying that the alleged attacks were “not state terrorism” because they were targeted at Bulgarian goods.
Following the accusations, Babis decided to expel 18 Russian diplomats. In response, Moscow retaliated by declaring 20 employees of the Czech embassy persona non grata. The decision to up the ante has not gone down well in Prague, with the Czech Republic, in turn, threatening to expel “around 60” Russia diplomats from the country.
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