Thu, 29 Jul 2021

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis says his government has decided to designate two staff members at the Russian Embassy in Prague as personae non grata.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday in Prague along with Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, Babis said that the move was taken as a result of the so-called ricin affair, which turned out to be a fake incident sparked by a dispute between embassy staff.

Neither Babis nor Petricek took questions from reporters during the news conference.

They did not name the staff members in question.

The affair stems from Czech media reports that Andrei Konchakov, deputy director of the embassy's Russian Center for Science and Culture, brought ricin from Russia to Prague in mid-March that was meant to be used in a plot to poison Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and two other senior municipal officials, Ondrej Kolar and Pavel Novotny.

Moscow denied the incident, which shook already tense relations between the two countries.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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