Babis Thanks Slovakia for Expelling Russian Diplomats: Great Gesture

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Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (left) and Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger. (Photo by TASR)

Prague/Bratislava, April 22 (TASR) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis thanked Slovakia for expelling three Russian diplomats in a display of solidarity with the Czech Republic in its rift with Russia over an explosion of a Czech ammunition warehouse blast seven years ago.
Babis said that he was told about the planned expulsion by his Slovak counterpart Eduard Heger.

“Thank you very much. I appreciate this great gesture of the Slovak Republic,” wrote Babis on Twitter.

In an earlier tweet, Babis reported that he discussed the “serious” situation in Czech-Russian relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I asked for her support, bilaterally as well as within the EU and NATO. She assured me that Germany stands firmly with us,” stated Babis.

The Czech Republic at the weekend announced the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats over the incident in Vrbetice in 2014, with Moscow responding by expelling 20 people from the Czech Embassy. Prague on Thursday decided to reduce the number of staff at the Russian Embassy to be equal to that of the Czech Embassy.

Babis earlier this week stated that the explosion was designed to destroy arms in the ownership of a Bulgarian national and it wasn’t aimed against the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, he added that it’s unacceptable to see secret services performing such operations on the territory of a foreign sovereign country.