Czech Republic urges EU, NATO allies to retaliate against Russia over 2014 explosion

Press quote (Voice of America)
20 April 2021

"They seem to be extremely active in a number of parts of Europe, and of course apart from them, we have seen the assassination of the Chechen-Georgian exile (Zelimkhan) Khangoshvili in Berlin, for which a Russian is on trial in Germany, and we've still got the MH17 trial going ahead in The Hague, and we've had other Russian citizens assassinated elsewhere in the EU," Ian Bond of the Centre for European Reform told VOA.

...The Russian president is trying to whip up support at home, says analyst Bond.

"Putin hasn't had a particularly good 12 months. Russia has one of the highest excess death rates from COVID-19 in the world. The economy is pretty stagnant, and the IMF is forecasting that it will stay pretty stagnant for a while. And the protests about the arrest of Navalny in January were the largest Russia had seen in quite a long time."

...Europe must act fast in imposing its own measures, Bond said. "It's hard to know what would jog Europe to impose further sanctions if it weren't an example of state-sponsored terrorism of this kind. I can't describe it in any other way — arranging the explosion of an ammunition dump which killed two people — it's hard to see that as anything other than state terrorism.

"That also sends a signal to Putin that there isn't unity yet, even within the EU, about the need to take really firm measures to deter the sorts of activities that he has been authorizing in Europe over the last several years. And I think that will only embolden him unfortunately."