The Czech Service for Information and Security has recently suspected three Russian diplomats of espionage, the country’s media report referring to government sources.
The trio had to quietly leave the Czech Republic. To prevent the escalation of the conflict, Czech diplomacy did not expel the alleged spies from the country but only did not extend their visas or residence permits.
One of the suspects was not accredited with the Russian Embassy in Prague and he visited the Czech Republic temporarily. The other two are reported to be permanent employees of the Russian Embassy.
In retaliation, Russia refused to grant visas to two Czech employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has declined to comment on the alleged Russian spies on Thursday. At that, he says that there has been a number of similar incidents over the history of Russian-Czech relations.
In 2009, two Russian agents were withdrawn from Prague for reportedly collection information on nuclear energy field, oil and gas deliveries.
If compared to other diplomatic missions, the Russian embassy in Prague is overstaffed, Czech online newspaper Respekt stresses. At present, it has 125 employees, while China has 28 diplomats, the United States –70.