Lower house to debate report linking Russia to 2014 munitions blast in Moravia

The lower house of Parliament is to debate the military intelligence report which has linked the deadly 2014 explosions at a munitions depo in Vrbetice to two officers from the Russian military intelligence service GRU.

The revelation, made by the prime minister on Saturday evening, has caused an outcry on the Czech political scene. The Czech Republic promptly expelled 18 Russian agents working undercover as diplomats, and Moscow retaliated by sending home twenty Czech embassy staff members. The government is debating possible further expulsions.

Parliament’s defence committee has called on the government to even-out the embassy staff numbers in the two countries. The tit-for-tat expulsions have cut the Czech embassy staff in Moscow down to five, while Russia still has around 100 staff members at its embassy in Prague.

The cabinet has already agreed to bar the Russian firm Rosatom from a multi-billion-euro bid to expand a Czech nuclear power plant.