Depot explosion not Russian "act of state terrorism": Czech PM

2021-04-20 02:29:22 GMT2021-04-20 10:29:22(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

The alleged Russian involvement in a munitions depot explosion in the Czech Republic in 2014 was not an act of state terrorism, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said Monday after a government meeting.

It was an attack by Russian intelligence agents on goods belonging to a Bulgarian arms dealer, he said.

"I would mainly like to say that it was not an act of state terrorism, as we have heard," Babis said, referring to calls from the parliamentary opposition to label the attack as such.

Still, the incident was unacceptable, said Babis, adding that he wanted to declassify the document about the incident, but the investigation is still going on.

Babis said Saturday that the country was expelling 18 Russian embassy staffers for the alleged involvement of the Russian special services in the explosion.

In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Sunday it's expelling 20 staffers of the Czech embassy in Moscow. The ministry said Czech authorities used "unfounded and far-fetched pretexts" to continue their anti-Russian tirade in recent years and to please the United States following recent U.S. sanctions against Russia.

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