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UK supports Czech efforts to expose Russian malign activity

The Foreign Secretary condemns the reckless and dangerous actions of the Russian intelligence services in Czech Republic.

18 April 2021

It has been announced by the Czech authorities that the two GRU Officers that were charged with the attempted murder of the Skripals in Salisbury, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were also behind the deaths of two civilians and an explosion in the Czech town of Vrbetice.

In response, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The UK stands in full support of our Czech allies, who have exposed the lengths that the Russian intelligence services will go to in their attempts to conduct dangerous and malign operations in Europe. This shows a pattern of behaviour by Moscow, following the Novichok attack in Salisbury. My sympathies are with the families of the victims in Vrbetice.

We are as determined and committed as ever to bring those responsible for the attack in Salisbury to justice, and commend the actions of the Czech authorities to do the same. Russia must desist from these actions, which violate the most basic international norms.

Notes to Editors

  • The UK was at the vanguard of EU action to impose sanctions on the leadership of the GRU and Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the 2 GRU officers who have been charged with carrying out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. The UK has continued to apply sanctions through the UK autonomous chemical weapons sanctions regime.

  • On 5 September 2018, charges were brought in the UK against 2 Russian nationals known as 'Alexander Petrov' and 'Ruslan Boshirov' for conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal; the attempted murder of Sergei, Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey, a UK police officer; use and possession of Novichok contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act; and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey. Interpol Red Notices remain in circulation for the men.

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