Russia's Designation Of U.S., Czech Republic As 'Unfriendly' Draws Criticism From Brussels

The European Council has criticized Russia's decision to designate the United States and the Czech Republic as "unfriendly," a move by Moscow that will limit the two Western countries in their hiring of staff for embassy operations in Russia.
The Russian government published its official list of "unfriendly" countries on May 14. It pledged to apply the measure to other countries if they engage in "unfriendly actions." The designation will bar the United States from hiring local personnel for its diplomatic missions in Russia, and caps the number of local hires for the Czech Republic at 19. European Council President Charles Michel on May 15 called the Russian government's action "another escalatory step" that "undermines diplomatic relations."
On May 14, the Czech Foreign Ministry said in statement that "we consider this course of action by the Russian Federation to be another step toward the escalation of relations not only with the Czech Republic, but also with the E.U. and its allies." The move is "completely contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," the statement said, adding that it would affect tourism and business between the two countries.

Relations between Prague and Moscow have soured considerably following Czech accusations on April 17 that Russia was involved in a deadly arms-depot blast on Czech territory in 2014.
The two countries have engaged in harsh rhetoric and tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions in the weeks since, with the Czechs backed by Brussels and Washington. "This proves that the Czech Republic’s response to the Vrbetice incident was correct, and its reaction affected Russia so deeply that [Moscow] decided to include us on the list of unfriendly nations, along with the United States," Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on May 14. The U.S. Embassy in Prague tweeted that “we are proud to stand alongside our steadfast ally, the Czech Republic!”

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and TASS

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Moscow Shuts Down Workweek Over Massive COVID-19 Spike.

Moscow Shuts Down Workweek Over Massive COVID-19 Spike.

Moscow's mayor has announced a non-working week on June 15-19 in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases, as both the Russian capital and the rest of the country reported the highest number of new coronavirus infections since winter.

Radio Free Europe

White House: Biden To Go 'Solo' For Post-Putin Press Conference.

White House: Biden To Go 'Solo' For Post-Putin Press Conference.

The White House says U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a "solo press conference" after his summit in Geneva next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the latest indicator of the tensions swirling between Moscow and Washington.

Radio Free Europe

Ingraham: How Biden is sabotaging America

Ingraham: How Biden is sabotaging America

'The Ingraham Angle' host says Biden is picking European allies over American workers. #FoxNews #Ingraham Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news serv...

China reportedly funding China funding human-animal hybrids.

China reportedly funding China funding human-animal hybrids.

Tammy Bruce warns that Democrats blocked measure to prohibit funding of chimera experiments. #FoxNews #FoxNewsPrimetime Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompas...

Mom who survived Mao's cultural revolution rips school for critical race theory.

Mom who survived Mao's cultural revolution rips school for critical race theory.

Xi Van Fleet joins 'Hannity' to tell her story. #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking news as well as ...

Single-mother Erin Brockovich spotlights a water crisis in a California town: Part 1.

Single-mother Erin Brockovich spotlights a water crisis in a California town: Part 1.

Brockovich became a household name after she publicized the water crisis in Hinkley, California. She faced Pacific Gas & Electric in a multi-million dollar lawsuit that eventually inspired a movie.

Despite the movie’s finale, the real town of Hinkley had no happy ending: Part 3.

Despite the movie’s finale, the real town of Hinkley had no happy ending: Part 3.

Residents said they face major health concerns after being exposed to contaminated water. PG&E is continuing its remediation efforts to clean the Hinkley water, but experts say it will take decades.

Erin Brockovich says her background gave her thick skin and determination: Part 2.

Erin Brockovich says her background gave her thick skin and determination: Part 2.

Brockovich faced many challenges in life that shaped her into who she is today. She became a celebrity after actress Julia Roberts played her in a 2000 movie inspired by her life.