EU condemns Russian decision to evict 20 Czech diplomats


FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

(Reuters) - The European Union deplores Russia’s decision to expel 20 Czech diplomats and stands in full support and solidarity with the Czech Republic, the EU Commission said late on Monday.

"The European Union is deeply concerned about the repeating negative pattern of dangerous malign behaviour by Russia in Europe," the Commission said in a statement.

"Russia must stop with these activities, which violate well-established international principles and norms and threaten stability in Europe."

The statement came after acting Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek said he had asked fellow EU foreign ministers for "an expression of solidarity" at a video conference on Monday.

Moscow evicted the Czech embassy employees in response to Prague's expulsion of 18 Russian staff over the suspicion that Russian intelligence was involved in explosions at an ammunition depot in October and December 2014.

Russia denies the accusation.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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