03:42 GMT11 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US State Secretary Antony Blinken held a phone conversation with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis to discuss Russia's actions in light of its diplomatic row with Prague, the Department of State said on Sunday.

    "Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis today.  Secretary Blinken emphasized U.S. solidarity with the Czech Republic in its courageous response to Russia’s subversive and deadly actions on Czech soil", the department said in a press release.

    The officials also agreed on the need for continued unity and resolve in response to "destabilizing actions by Russia."

    "The Czech government’s decisions to exclude Rosatom from the Dukovany nuclear tender and dramatically reduce the Russian intelligence presence in Prague have increased the security of the Czech Republic and the NATO Alliance", the press release added.

    Last month, Prague declared 18 Russian diplomats persona non grata over espionage allegations. According to 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 — allegations that Moscow denied.

    Moscow retaliated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats, which in turn, prompted Prague to order more diplomats out of the country in response.

    Tags:
    Russia, talks, officials, Czech Republic, US
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