Milos Zeman

Petr Dubinsky

Zeman Continues To Cast Doubt Over Russian Involvement In Arms Depot Blasts

President Miloš Zeman says that several theories exist in the investigation of explosions of two ammunition depots near Vrbětice in 2014. He does not rule out that the version involving Russian agents may be true. But according to Zeman, the case should be investigated, he said in an interview on CNN Prima. 

“I say, so investigate everything, don’t be mono-thematic, focus on all versions and conduct the investigation to show the truth,” the president said. According to him, there is also a version about the unprofessional handling of explosives, a version covering the shortage in an ammunition depot, as previously mentioned by the Minister of Justice Marie Benešová, and a version that the second explosion was to cover the theft of weapons.

Benešová recently stated that she had no information that the police were dealing with a different investigative version of the Vrbětice explosion than the participation of Russian military intelligence agents of the GRU. Zeman said today that he had not changed his mind. He pointed out that the explosions of the two ammunition depots took place over time, and also that there was no evidence or evidence that Russian agents had penetrated the premises.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček (CSSD) have repeatedly stated that there is only one investigative version. The point is that Russian agents are reasonably suspected of explosions in an ammunition depot.

Two people died in the explosion of the first of the warehouses in October 2014, the second exploded in December of the same year. Both buildings were leased by the Ostrava company Imex Group. At the time of the explosions, the complex was managed by the state enterprise Military Technical Institute. The suspicion of the Czech security forces that members of the Russian secret service were involved in the explosions of the ammunition complex provoked a diplomatic rift with Russia.