On Friday, the Czech Republic has expelled two employees of the Russian Embassy in connection with the so-called rezinovy case. Prime Minister Andrew Babish said that the story gave rise to internal conflict between the staff of the diplomatic mission. The Deputy Civil democratic party ODS Jacek Pavel (Pavel Žáček) told the portal “rozhlas” that the parliamentary Committee on security by the time the meeting was not informed about the backstage games. But, he added, according to him, they have influenced the outcome of this case.
iROZHLAS: on Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Babish and Minister of foreign Affairs tomáš Petricek announced that the Czech Republic has expelled two Russian diplomats from hidden agendas, which they had. This is consistent with what you learned at the Committee meeting on safety from security and information BIS?
Paul Jacek: I Think everything is interconnected. The information also complies with the further developments and investigations conducted by our intelligence services. The decision I believe the only possible way out of the situation.
— That is the meeting you said about the backstage game of diplomats at the Russian Embassy, in which one slandered another?
We, the members of the Committee discussed it. However, as I was informed, this (behind-the-scenes game) is due to the denouement of this case and the decision of our security services.
— In your opinion, the security Service and information acted correctly?
Definitely Yes. It is worthy of praise and support, because they handled the situation, which sucked all of the Czech state, and not only the state security organs. Security camera, as we stated before the meeting of our Committee, responded correctly, because the received information about the threat to our municipal politicians, but no one knew whether this information is reliable. It was therefore decided to provide them with security, and began the investigation of what is behind it all.
— Do you think expulsion is an adequate solution?
— I think the incident couldn’t lead to anything else, as soon as the expulsion of all employees of the Russian diplomatic apparatus involved in this case.
The denouement of the case?
During the events, the Russian Embassy demanded police protection. What do you think, in light of all the events was the point?
— I think this is in some way a provocation of the Russian side. Don’t know did in the Czech security services that security is necessary and possible, but, in my opinion, the decision of the Prime Minister and Minister of foreign Affairs marked the end of the story, and that was it. I think that the police will no longer guard and three of my fellow politicians and municipal authorities.
— Are you going in this business again to bring to the Parliament the head of the BIS, Michal Koudelka?
— No doubt. As in other cases, we constantly communicate. Sir explains us a lot, and a lot we ask. So, I think, we will discuss the completion of this ill-fated story which, in my opinion, not at our initiative seriously undermined the Czech-Russian relations, and many ask him.
— Do you expect some fallout from this story?
— To predict anything is impossible, because sometimes the reaction of the Russian side is unpredictable. The fact that the information obtained from our partners (from Germany, great Britain, Poland and other countries), we know that Russia allows itself and what the provocation is able to go abroad. So, of course, know for sure we can’t, but that is the situation today. These are the current relations between Russia and the European States, including NATO States. We are forced to reckon with this, and I think this story and its outcome — the signal for the Russian Federation: it should not even think about how to do something like that with us.
“Send the Czechs no reason”
— Are you suggesting that, as is usual in such cases, will be sent to you and our diplomats too?
— Is the question. In such cases, of course, the principle of symmetry or symmetrical measures. But, on the other hand, neither in Moscow nor anywhere else we haven’t done anything that the Russian side would negatively comment. In my personal opinion, for expulsion there is no reason. But how will react the Russian side, is the question.
— You say that we didn’t do anything wrong. But the Russians accuse us in the dismantling of the monument to Marshal Konev, the installation of a memorial plaque in Reporyje and rename the square in front of the Russian Embassy. Is it possible that this was the reason for the expulsion of our diplomats?
We didn’t try to dismantle the monument to Konev, who is in Moscow or some other Russian city. We, the Czech Republic or the authorities, tried to erect a monument to Vlasov in Moscow or somewhere in another region of Russia or something like that.
What is happening in our country, it is a question of our sovereignty, our freedom, our political system and, of course, of freedom of self-government in decision-making. All of this is irrelevant to how our business looks Russian side. We have not committed any acts of provocation in the Russian Federation that would condemn authorities of the Russian Federation and would like to respond. We are free in work, discussions and decision-making on the territory of the independent Czech Republic.
— You expect that after the expulsion, the situation is somewhat discharged and the relations between the Czech Republic and Russia will improve?
— Of course, I would have loved this, but the fact is, not that we have initiated all of this. We rather protect and defend their independence, freedom, democratic system, freedom of decision-making and finally, our institutions of lower level. And, of course, it is difficult to say that Russians like for one reason or another, and what is not.
Apparently, they look at everything completely differently. They have different values, and Moscow even comes to mind, as we have seen, to punish the actions of the Czech local authorities with their acts. This is totally absurd, and we need to resist. I think we sent an important signal that in the country we will not tolerate.