Russia placed the Czech Republic and the United States on a list of “non-friendly” countries. The decision has implications for the appointment of Russian employees in the embassies of countries in Moscow.
According to a decree issued by the Russian government, signed on Thursday but published on Friday, the two countries were declared “unfriendly”. This means that the Czech Republic is very limited in employing Russian personnel at the embassy in Moscow. The United States is not even allowed to employ Russians at its embassy in the Russian capital.
The decree was signed a few days before the first meeting between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
The Czech Republic and Russia have been locked in a diplomatic row since April, because the Czech Republic suspects Russia was behind an attack in 2014. Since then, the number of embassy personnel from both countries has decreased significantly.
The United States also recently announced that it will reduce consular assistance to Americans in Russia. Due to stricter regulations, fewer employees were permitted, which is now being reduced further.
At the end of April, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to draw up a list of “non-friendly” countries, with the aim of protecting “Russia’s interests and security.”