According to Russian Embassy Spokesperson Nikolai Bryakin, 54 staffers of the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic were laid off by the Czech government on Saturday, TASS said.
On May 31, the second batch of embassy staff and their families will depart the Czech Republic.
Previously, Russia and the Czech Republic agreed to equalize the number of their diplomatic employees in both nations’ capitals. Each embassy will include seven ambassadors, 25 administrative and technical staff, and 19 locally hired personnel.
The Czech government stated on April 17 that Moscow was responsible for the 2014 explosions at the Vrbetice depots in the country’s east, which killed two people. As a result, 18 Russian embassy personnel were evacuated from Prague, and they were labeled as espionage officials. The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to the measure, declaring 20 Czech Embassy staffers in Moscow personae non gratae.