Moscow: The Russian Foreign Ministry on Sunday announced its decision to expel 20 Czech diplomats in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Prague and gave the Czech diplomatic staff time until the end of Monday to leave Russia.
Earlier in the day, Czech Ambassador to Moscow Vitzeslav Pivonka was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry amid a diplomatic row between the two countries. The diplomat left the ministry after about 20 minutes without providing any comments.
“A strong protest was declared to the ambassador in connection with the unfriendly act of the Czech authorities against the personnel of the Russian diplomatic mission in Prague. Pivonka was informed that 20 employees of the Czech embassy in Moscow were declared persona non grata,” the statement said.
According to the ministry, the Czech diplomatic employees are required to leave Russia before the end of Monday.
“The Czech side was also required to bring the number of employees of the diplomatic mission in Moscow in the category of those hired locally to parity with the number of employees of a similar category in the Russian embassy in the Czech Republic. The ambassador received the relevant note,” the statement said.