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Czechmate

August 19, 2009
Photo/US Navy

Photo/US Navy

On August 18 the Russians expelled two Czech diplomats from Moscow, a day after two Russian diplomats were ousted out of Prague. The Czech government acted on suspicions that the Russian diplomats were actually spies for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. The Russians dittoed the expulsions out of retaliation. According to some reports, the Russian diplomats were attempting to sway the public into opposing the building of a US radar facility on Czech soil. The facility is a component of the United States’ plan to build a ballistic missile defense system in the region, something the Russians are not happy about, to say the least.

The BMD project has been a divisive issue for the Czechs; the majority disagrees with its construction. The US maintains that the BMD system would protect NATO countries from potential Iranian missile attacks. A handful of other European countries has in recent months also expelled Russian diplomats, including the UK.

Evonne Liew

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