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Russia includes the US in its list of hostile countries after the latest clashes between the two

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Kuldeep Singh
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The Kremlin intends to restrict the number of diplomats from the US embassy and the local personnel it can hire

Russia has decided this Friday to include the Czech Republic and the United States on its ‘black list’, as a result of the latest diplomatic disputes that, on the one hand, have confronted the Kremlin with the Biden Administration and, on the other, with different countries of its environment.

This designation, with which Russia restricts the number of diplomats from those countries within its embassies and the local personnel it can hire, is part of a rule enacted a month ago to limit the capacity of these diplomatic delegations from “unfriendly” states.

The first countries to enter this list were finally the Czech Republic, with whom Russia has had a bitter diplomatic dispute for weeks, and the United States, which has been prohibited from hiring Russian personnel for its embassy.

It is a question “definitely closed and irrevocable,” emphasized the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, María Zajárova, who has reported that the United States has until August 1 to comply with the measure.

For its part, the Czech Republic has criticized the decision of the Russian authorities to include it in that list of “hostile countries” and has regretted that this will only worsen the already delicate relations that both maintain.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic lists Russia’s decision as a further step towards the worsening of relations not only with us but also with the EU as a whole and its allies,” said the statement from the Czech authorities.

“This measure will have an indirect impact on the possible development of contacts between ordinary citizens, in tourism, and in the development of commercial relations,” the letter emphasizes.

On April 17, Prague denounced the alleged involvement of Moscow in the explosions that caused two deaths in a munitions warehouse in Vrbetice, in the eastern Czech Republic, in 2014, and expelled 18 employees from the Russian embassy.

For its part, Moscow, which has always considered these accusations “absurd”, responded by firing 20 Czech diplomats. In solidarity with Prague, the Baltic countries announced that they will expel four Russian diplomats. Something that Poland previously did as a show of support for the United States.

Photo by Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

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