Petricek announced his resignation at a televised briefing.
"President Milos Zeman has dismissed Tomas Petricek as foreign minister at the prime minister's suggestion," presidential spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told journalists.
Zeman reportedly long sought Petricek's dismissal over his position on the relations with Russia and China. In particular, Petricek was opposed to Russian and Chinese bidders' participation in the tender to build a new block of the Dukovany nuclear power plant, arguing that their victory would threaten national security. The ex-minister was also opposed to the use of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine before the EU regulator's approval.
"As the candidate for the foreign minister portfolio, Lubomir Zaoralek, wants to complete several projects in the Ministry of Culture, which he now heads, I will temporarily be in charge of the foreign ministry. I think this is more a matter of days than weeks," Hamacek told reporters.
According to the interior minister, Petricek's resignation was initiated by the CSSD leadership following a party congress on Sunday where the ex-minister lost a bid to head the party to Hamacek. The majority of center-left-minded party members did not back the ex-minister's call for a more right course.