North Atlantic Council statement in solidarity with the Czech Republic

  • 22 Apr. 2021 -
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  • Press Release (2021) 057
  • Issued on 22 Apr. 2021
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  • Last updated: 22 Apr. 2021 11:25


  1. Today, the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed the North Atlantic Council on activities by Russian operatives inside the Czech Republic, which resulted in the explosions in 2014 of ammunition storage depots at Vrbetice.  The explosion caused the deaths of two people who worked at the site, for which Allies express their condolences, as well as very substantial material damage.  
  2. The Minister confirmed that the Czech authorities have identified two Russian intelligence operatives as having been responsible for the explosion – the same two Russian intelligence operatives who remain wanted by the United Kingdom authorities in relation to the attack carried out in Salisbury in 2018 using a military-grade Novichok nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.  
  3. In response to its determination of Russia’s responsibility for these actions, the Czech Republic has expelled 18 Russian officials who are members of Russia’s intelligence services, and is considering further substantial measures.  Allies express deep concern over the destabilising actions Russia continues to carry out across the Euro-Atlantic area, including on Alliance territory, and stand in full solidarity with the Czech Republic.