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Whipping up tensions in the Czech Republic without any reason does not promote a constructive dialogue in Russian-Czech relations, Head of Russia’s Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation Eleonora Mitrofanova told TASS.

The Prague-based Respekt weekly newsmagazine reported earlier citing sources in the Czech special services that in early April a Russian national holding a diplomatic passport had allegedly arrived in Prague carrying ricin, a highly potent toxin. The man allegedly headed to the Russian embassy and the poison could be aimed for municipal politicians.

“This situation is the continuation of hostile actions in addition to the dismantling by the Czech municipal authorities of the monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev,” Mitrofanova said. “We regret to see additional escalation in bilateral Russian-Czech relations.”

According to the official, the Czech authorities have slapped unfounded accusations against a staff member of the Russian federal agency in Prague. “This is certainly pure provocation. There are forces seeking to boost this negative reaction,” she noted. “Our representative in the Czech Republic is a young man, who speaks the Czech language, who treats this country well and loves it. I believe that this is an unfounded and groundless provocation by the Czech authorities, which is part and parcel of actions they have been taking recently.”

Tensions between the two countries escalated following the demolition of a monument dedicated to WWII Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague. The monument was removed on April 3 following a decision by the authorities of the district Prague-6. The municipal authorities intend to hand it over to the Museum of the 20th Century that the Prague Mayor’s Office plans to establish. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that Moscow was waiting for the Czech authorities to respond to Russia’s proposal to discuss the violation of the 1993 friendship treaty.

Source: TASS, May 11, 2020