Russia will react to the “unacceptable and provocative” actions of Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
“Look, this is not just deliberate. … First, there are retaliatory measures, you see that Russia is reacting, Russia will react. Such absolutely unacceptable provocative steps, and absolutely unacceptable, groundless, unsubstantiated accusations of Russia will not remain without response. In any case, any actions of Russia will be carried out in our own interests,” Peskov told reporters.
Bulgarian media has reported that six Russian citizens were suspected of being involved in blasts at factories and arms depots, three of whom were charged with the attempted murder of Bulgarian businessman Emilian Gebrev. Bulgarian prosecutors are currently looking into four alleged explosions at arms depots from 2011 to 2020.
On April 17, Prague announced that 18 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country on suspicion of being officers of Russia’s special services. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babis, the reason for such a move is the suspicion that Russian military intelligence officers were involved in the 2014 explosion in Vrbetice, which killed two Czech nationals.
Moscow retaliated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats, prompting Prague to order more diplomats out of the country in response.