The alleged terrorist attack that sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Russia and the Czech Republic might have yet another victim – Czech beer
Wearing socks in sandals, getting lost in the Tatra mountains, and hiking Croatian landmarks in flip-flops.
That’s some of the stereotypes people who’ve ever heard of Czechs might hold about them. But yet another symbol of Czech nationality is the strongest of them all – beer.
The Czech Republic is a beer heaven. In restaurants, a pint of beer costs often less than a glass of water. Beer is everywhere and it’s pretty much ingrained in the country.
But apart from being the Czech trademark, beer can also become a symbol of economic sanctions that Russia considers imposing towards the Central European nation.
Czechia accuses two Russian spies of committing a terrorist attack
The reason why Russia might target one of the iconic Czech product is a current diplomatic crisis.
On Saturday, April 17, the Czech Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior who was also acting as the Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that they have evidence that two Russian spies committed a terrorist attack on the Czech territory in 2014.
The incident was supposed to happen in the village of Vrbetice, inside a military complex that is used as an ammunition depot for private companies.
Two explosions occurred in the area, killing two people and destroying weapons and ammunition worth around $47 million.
After almost seven years of investigation, the Czech intelligence cooperating with an elite police squad carried out that two Russian spies were likely responsible for the explosions.
According to the CCTV records and other evidence, the two were the same agents that tried to kill Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK, in 2018, Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin.
As a measure against the alleged aggression, the Czech Republic expelled 18 diplomats from the Russian embassy in Prague. In response, Russia, who’s denying the allegation, expelled 20 diplomats from the Czech embassy in Moscow.
Following the counter-action, Czechia decided to expel other 63 employees of the Russian embassy in Prague. Now, both the embassies in Czechia and Russia should have the same number of diplomatic personnel.
But according to Kommersant, Russia is now considering other ways to punish Czechia.
“If Moscow merely mirrored the most recent act, there would be no diplomatic personnel left in Moscow, including the ambassador, which would be close to halting the diplomatic relations. That’s why we are considering alternative responses,” Kommersant reads.
“I’ve been sober for years but I’ll start drinking beer again”
The news of banning Czech beer in Russia has been received with a wave of ridicule.
Czechs on social media channels are claiming that they will simply outconsume the loss to support their breweries.
“I’ve been sober for years but I’d start drinking again if Russians do this to our country,” said one of Facebook users when reading about the idea.