EU Parliament supports Czechia, calls on EU to expel Russian diplomats

With the post-Brexit trade pact now formally ratified, EU and UK lawmakers must take the lead in rebuilding the cross-Channel relationship, writes John McStravick. [EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET]

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday calling on EU countries to coordinate the expulsion of Russian diplomats in reaction to the 2014 Vrbetice ammunition depot explosion in the Czech Republic.

According to Czech secret services, Russian GRU agents were involved in the incident that cost two lives.

The resolution, passed by a majority of 569 of 682 MEPs from all main groups in Parliament, also condemned Russian threats targeting the Czech Republic in the current diplomatic feud.

The MEPs also called for tougher sanctions over Moscow’s aggressive conduct, including manoeuvres near Ukraine’s border.

The resolution calls for the EU to reduce dependence on Russian energy, stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and not let the Russian Rosatom company build nuclear plants in the EU. The Czech government has already decided that Rosatom would not be invited to take part in the planned tender for new reactors of the Dukovany nuclear plant.

Slovakia, Romania and Baltic countries have already expelled Russian diplomats in a move of solidarity with Czechia. Bulgaria has started a heated dispute with Russia, in part due to the investigations of similar explosions on Bulgarian soil.

(Ondřej Plevák | EURACTIV.cz)

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