Russia announced that 20 diplomats from the Czech Republic will be expelled from the country as an answer to the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats on Saturday, news wires reported. Moscow has given the Czech diplomats a day to leave while Prague has given the Russians 72 hours. EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the matter during a meeting today.
The Czech Republic is expelling 18 Russian diplomats over suspicions that Russian intelligence services were involved in an ammunition depot explosion in 2014, its government said on Saturday.
The central European country is a NATO and EU member state, and the expulsions and allegations have triggered its biggest row with Russia since the end of the communist era in 1989.
Prague has been asking Warsaw to deal with the mine, which sits on the tri-border between Poland, Czechia and Germany, for several years, citing its heavy environmental impact. In particular, Turow, which feeds Poland's heavy addiction to coal for power production, has degraded drinking water in Czechia's northern Liberec Region. There is also concern over air and noise pollution.
By way of contrast, Chinese pressure to stop Jaroslav Kubera visiting Taiwan took a more sinister turn when the Senate president keeled over from a heart attack. When his successor, Milos Vystrcil, embarked on the trip anyway in September, Beijing hoped to similarly scare Prague with threats of retaliation.
Czechs seeking to buy an average sized apartment of 70 square metres faced paying over 11 times their annual salary in 2019, more than their peers in any other European country. That's a ranking they enjoyed for a fourth straight year. In the capital Prague, the average price per square meter rose to €3,395 last year, far above regional peers such as Budapest and Bratislava.