Czech President Milos Zeman supported a bill to pay compensation to victims of explosions in warehouses in the village of Vrbetice. This was announced on Tuesday, July 27, by the press secretary of the head of state Jiří Ovčáček.
“The President of the Republic supported the law on compensation and believes that the Czech Republic should demand it from the true culprits of the two explosions in the territory of Vrbetice,” Ovchacek is quoted as saying press service of the Prague Castle.
In the near future, the document will go to the lower house of the Czech parliament. It provides for payments to settlements affected by the incident and their residents of about 660 million kroons (about € 26 million). The Social Democrats expect to submit the document to the Czech Parliament for consideration as soon as possible in order to start paying compensation from January 1, 2022.
On July 22, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova called the situation “absurd and wild”. According to the diplomat, Russia considers the demands of the Czech Republic for the payment of compensation unacceptable.
On June 28, it became known that the Czech Republic demanded from the Russian Federation compensation for damage in the amount of € 25.5 million in connection with the explosions at warehouses in Vrbetica. It was noted that Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek conveyed a diplomatic note to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Czech Republic, Alexander Zmeevsky, in which he declared the international legal responsibility of Russia for its involvement in the explosion of an ammunition depot.
Relations between Moscow and Prague escalated sharply in April 2021. Then the Czech Republic accused Russia of involvement in the explosions at military depots, which occurred in 2014 in the village of Vrbetitsa in the east of the republic.
As a result, Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats, Moscow responded by expelling 20 Czech diplomats. Next, the Czech Republic announced that the number of employees of the Russian diplomatic mission would be increased to the number of Czech representatives in Moscow, and announced the expulsion of 63 employees of the Russian embassy from the country.