Czech security experts warn of growing Russian aggression

Czech security experts have warned against growing Russian aggression and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Czech Republic. They cite the diplomatic row over the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev as a case in point, urging the Czech Foreign Ministry to take a tougher stance towards Moscow.

According to the weekly Respekt the experts who issued the warning include the former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, and the former Czech ambassador to Russia Petr Kolář.

The weekly moreover linked the warning to information from an unnamed source that a Russian secret service agent equipped with ricin poison had allegedly arrived in the Czech Republic three weeks ago using a diplomatic passport. The weekly said that the man was perceived as a security threat to Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hrib and the mayor of Prague 6 Ondřej Kolář.

The Russian Embassy in Prague has accused Respekt of spreading fake news and has protested to the Czech Foreign Ministry against what it described as unfounded attacks against Russia.

According to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech-Russian relations are going through a difficult period due to Moscow's growing assertiveness both in relation to the Czech Republic and the international community in general.