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Head of Russian Gov't Agency Refutes Czech Claims That Staffer Brought Poison to Country

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Czech media reports claiming that an official working for a Russian governmental agency has brought poison to Prague are a pure provocation, aimed at fanning up the scandal around the removal of the monument to Soviet Marshall Ivan Konev in Prague, the agency's head, Eleonora Mitrofanova, said on Monday.
"This story started a long time ago. This is certainly a pure provocation, a reaction to the situation around the monument removal ... Our representative in the Czech Republic is a young man, who speaks Czech, who has a positive attitude to this country and loves it. So, this is, of course, a groundless provocation by the Czech authorities, which fits in the logic of their recent steps," Mitrofanova, head of Rossotrudnichestvo — the Russian governmental agency administering civilian foreign aid and cultural exchange - said in an interview.

In late April, Czech media reported that a man with a Russian diplomatic passport arrived in Prague three weeks ago carrying the ricin deadly poison. Media speculated about an attempted assassination of local politicians in Prague — Ondrej Kolar and Zdenek Hrib — who are connected to the removal of the monument to Konev.

Late on Sunday, Czech broadcasters reported that it was Andrey Konchakov, serving as the head of Rossotrudnichestvo office in Prague, who had brought ricin into the country.

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