The Czech Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats from the country.

Iran PressEurope: The Czech Republic has accused the 18 Russian diplomats of espionage. 

The Russian embassy in Prague also said it had received news of the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats from the Czech Foreign Ministry.

The Czech Republic's expulsion of Russian diplomats on espionage charges comes as the wave of accusations against Russia in the West has intensified.

Relations between the West and Moscow have been strained since 2014 on the four axes of expanding NATO military influence, especially the US presence near Russia's border in Eastern Europe, the Ukraine crisis, the Baltic Sea and the situation in Syria.

The United States and the European Union have imposed a series of economic and financial sanctions against Russia since 2014, prompting a backlash from Moscow. 219

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