PRAGUE, June 1. / TASS /. The Czech authorities are committed to the idea of demanding compensation from Russia for the damage allegedly caused by the explosions at the munitions warehouses in Vrbetice in 2014, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek told reporters.
Prague has already drafted a request for Moscow. “We are working on this [receiving compensation from Russia for the damage] jointly with lawyers from the Ministry of Finance. We already have a certain project [of a request for compensation]. We are still waiting [for information] agencies responsible for criminal investigation. I think we will soon be able to claim compensation from Russia for the damage, ”Kulhanek said.
The Foreign Minister predicts that Prague will take the necessary measures in June. However, a rather complicated international procedure will be used, he noted.
Relations between Russia and the Czech Republic deteriorated after April 17, when the Czech authorities claimed that Russia was behind the explosions in munitions depots in the village of Vrbetice in the east of the Czech Republic in 2014 and expelled 18 Russian diplomats who she said were Russian intelligence officers. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed strong protests over the Prague move made “under unfounded and far-fetched pretexts” and declared 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae.
Later, the parties agreed to align embassy staff on a parity basis. From June 1, each of them will be authorized to have seven diplomats, 25 technical staff and 19 locally recruited employees.
Earlier, Czech Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alena Schillerova said that the Czech Republic intends to claim at least 1 billion kroner (around 39 million euros) from Russia in compensation for property damage caused by explosions in the depots in the village of Vrbetice.