The Czech Republic will demand that Russia should pay at least US$48 million in compensation for consequences of blasts at an ammunition depot in the Vrbětice complex in 2014.
This was announced by Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová, the Ukrainian-registered media outlet European Pravda reported, citing Česká televize.
"The most viable way that seems to work out is international compensation in accordance with international law, because if we go through, for example, compensation for damages in criminal proceedings, it will take a very long while," Schillerová said.
The said amount was estimated by the Czech Finance Ministry and is presumably not final. Additional requests may come from the affected region.
"We are talking about how we will define these requirements," said Radim Holiš, Governor of the Zlín Region, which incorporates Vrbětice.
According to him, moral damage or compensation for the inability to use the property and damage caused to it will be considered.
The state could apply for the compensation within a few weeks or months, the Czech Foreign Ministry added.
"The Russian side will be held internationally liable for the illegal actions of the Russian Federation's authorities after evaluation and consultations on this issue with some of our allies are over. The Foreign Ministry is preparing a diplomatic note based on the instructions of the government," Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jakub Kulhánek said.
Czech authorities' accusations against Russia: Background
- Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced there were well-founded suspicions of the involvement of Russian special services in the explosion of an ammunition storage facility in the Czech Republic in 2014.
- The Czech Foreign Ministry expelled 18 Russian diplomats believed to be intelligence operatives in retaliation for the explosion, which killed two people.
- The Czech police put on the wanted list two Russian citizens who used passports in the name of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov during their visit to Prague and the Zlín District on October 11-16, 2014.
- In a retaliation move, Russia expelled 20 Czech diplomats – the move Prague protested as "inappropriate reaction," demanding that Moscow allow them to return or face tit-for-tat expulsions. Later, the Czech side said about 70 more Russian diplomats would be expelled.
- According to Czech media outlets, an explosion at an ammunition depot in the Vrbětice complex in the Czech Republic in 2014 was most likely staged by Russian agents to disrupt arms shipments, in particular, to armed forces of Ukraine.