The Czech Embassy in Moscow laid off 89 local employees

Assistance with the running of the embassy was offered to the Czech Republic by Germany, Slovakia, Britain, Hungary or Slovenia; its use has not yet been decided, said Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (CSSD) after the government meeting.

It was originally said that 79 local forces would be fired by the end of May.

“I was informed by Mr. Ambassador (Vítězslav) Pivoňka that on Monday a small farewell took place with the staff who participated in the operation of both the Czech Embassy and the Czech House,” Kulhánek remarked. The Czechia is deciding how to set up the operation of the embassy and the Czech House in the future, an internal audit is being carried out within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We have several scenarios. The process is not over yet, I am reluctant to communicate any procedures,” the minister said.

In the Czech House in the Russian capital, the restaurant and hotel operations will close from Tuesday, Kulhánek hopes that temporarily.

According to Kulhánek, help with the running of the embassy is offered by a number of member states of the European Union, to whom he thanked. “However, at the moment we are still having an audit of how our embassy and the Czech House should continue to function, and it has not yet been decided whether we will use this assistance or not,” he added.

A diplomatic rift between the Czech Republic and Russia broke out in about mid-April. Following the revelations of security forces, according to which two GRM explosions in Vrbětice in the Zlín region in 2014 are reasonably suspected agents of Russian military intelligence GRU, 18 employees of the Russian embassy were expelled. In retaliation, Russia declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow undesirable. Russia also called the Czech advance a hostile act.

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Later, Czech diplomacy informed about the forced departure of other Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic by the end of May, and Russia announced that it was moving “in strict parity” in the number of embassy staff, so the numbers would be the same. Some of the deported employees of the Russian embassy in Prague flew to Russia on Saturday, the rest on Monday evening.

From Tuesday, seven diplomats, 25 administrative and technical staff and 19 hired staff should remain at both embassies.

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