Russia will not pay any compensation to the Czech Republic for alleged involvement in the explosions at warehouses in Vrbetica, Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, told TASS on Monday.
“Any demands of the Czech Republic against Russia to pay compensation for the far-fetched involvement of the Russian special services in the explosions at warehouses in Vrbetica, in the spirit of highly likely, are absurd,” he said.
According to the deputy, Prague should forward such demands to its “Washington curators, who are behind the organization of this provocation.”
Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on international affairs, repeated Slutsky’s statements almost word for word. The Russian side is not going to pay anything to Prague, this demand is absurd, he told RIA Novosti.
On Saturday, the head of the Czech Ministry of Finance Alena Shillerova announced plans to demand from the Kremlin at least 1 billion kronor (39 million euros) in damages for the incident in 2014, which killed two citizens of the country.
“The most viable path, which seems to be the best, is international compensation in accordance with international law, because if we go, for example, by compensation for damage through criminal proceedings, it will take a very long time,” Schillerova said in an interview with Czech Television.
The Czech authorities announced the involvement of the Russian military intelligence GRU in the explosions on April 17, and a day later Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats.
Moscow responded by expelling 20 employees of the Czech embassy, which in turn announced a 4-fold reduction in the limit on the number of employees of the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague.
35 diplomats and 46 administrative and technical staff were declared persona non grata. Russia responded by expelling 20 diplomats and administrative workers, and also demanded the dismissal of 91 Russians from the embassy. The total staff of the diplomatic mission was reduced by 111 people.