Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš hopes that a diplomatic dialogue with Russia will help normalise relations with the country, he said so in an interview with the tabloid Blesk published on Wednesday. Mr Babiš said that after consultations with him, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček had requested the opening of diplomatic dialogue with the Russian side to which the Russians agreed. The Czech prime minister went on to say that it is unacceptable for anyone to interfere in the Czech domestic political scene, but that the Russian side has rejected such an accusation.
There have been tensions between the Czech Republic and Russia in recent months, mainly stemming from Russia’s condemnation of the removal of a statue of Soviet marshal Ivan Konev in Prague 6. Reports appeared in the press that a Russian intelligence officer had been sent to Prague in April carrying ricin poison and three Prague politicians were sent into hiding upon recommendation by Czech security services. However, Russia denies this took place.