“Deputy Smolek handed over to the Russian ambassador a diplomatic note claiming the legal responsibility of the Russian Federation for its involvement in the explosion of the ammunition depot in Vrbětice in 2014. The letter demands full compensation for the damage caused by this internationally illegal act and calls for Russian to negotiate on this matter,” the ministry said.
Czech Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alena Schillerová said earlier that the republic intends to demand at least CZK 1 billion (approximately EUR 39 million) from Russia as compensation for material damage.
The Czech Republic is now calling on the Russians to negotiate on the matter. Moscow has so far not reacted to Prague’s move.
There has been considerable tension between Russia and the Czech Republic in recent times, and Moscow recently placed the Czech Republic, along with the United States, on a list of countries that are not friendly towards Russia. It did so after Prague announced that Russian intelligence agents were suspected to be behind the 2014 explosions at the Vrbětice ammunition depots.
This was followed by mutual expulsions of diplomats and a reduction in the number of staff at the Russian embassy in Prague and the Czech embassy in Moscow.
Czech Republic: The “not friendly” list is a violation of the Vienna Convention
The Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek, while handing over a diplomatic note to the Russian ambassador on Monday, also said that the inclusion of the Czech Republic on the list of “not friendly” states constitutes a violation of international law.
Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (ČSSD) said last week that the withdrawal of the Czech Republic from the list would be one of the important preconditions for the resumption of serious political dialogue.