Czech Republic links Bulgarian arms dealer with Vrbetica explosion

Czech special services found a connection between the Bulgarian arms dealer and explosions at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica, Czech President Milos Zeman said.

Earlier in the day, Zeman said that the intelligence report contained no evidence of the involvement of “Russian agents” in the 2014 bombing.

He also drew attention to the fact that Czech counterintelligence, even in the closed part of the report, had not reported anything about “Russian agents” for six years.

Therefore, the Czech leader also urged not to jump to conclusions about the Vrbetica incident and to wait for the results of the investigation.

On April 17, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that the Czech authorities suspected Russian security services of involvement in the explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. On the same day, the Czech Republic announced its decision to expel 18 Russian diplomats.

Russia, in turn, one day later declared 20 employees of the Czech embassy in Russia persona non grata. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova flatly denied the accusations, calling the fact that Prague did not publish a report on the explosion-proof of a lie.

On April 22, the German newspaper World Economy carried out an investigation about the alleged involvement of Russian special services in the explosions at the Vrbetica depot. The journalists pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the Czech authorities’ accusations.

As a result, as a result of reciprocal expulsions of diplomats, by May 31, seven diplomats, 25 technical staff, and 19 people will remain in the embassies of the Czech and Russian Federation, the Russian Foreign Ministry explained. Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek cited similar figures.