Czech Deputy PM: no plan to expel Russian diplomats for now

03-05-2020

The Czech government will take no retaliatory measures against Russian authorities over a reputed plot to assassinate Prague’s mayor and others without confirmation of secret service information, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček said on Sunday.

In late April, the Czech weekly Respekt reported that Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and two district mayors, Ondřej Kolář and Pavel Novotný, were under police protection because a Russian intelligence agent with diplomatic status had been sent to poison them using ricin.

Speaking during a Czech Television panel discussion, Havlíček said retaliatory moves such as expelling Russian diplomats were not under consideration for the time being.

The Russian Embassy in Prague has accused Respekt of spreading fake news and filed a protest with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The country's foreign minister has said the idea of Russia sending an agent to assassinate Czech politicians is “inconceivable”.