June 5 (UPI) -- Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš expelled two Russian Embassy officials Friday, accusing the diplomats of inventing a plot to poison Czech politicians.
The premier accused the Russian officials of making up a story that a Russian diplomat brought a suitcase of ricin into the Czech Republic with a plan to poison three politicians, including Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib.
Hřib came under police protection in April in response to the alleged threat.
"The entire case came to being as a result of internal feuding among workers at the embassy," Babiš said. "One of them sent false information about a planned attack against Czech politicians to our counterintelligence service.
"We are interested in having good relations with all countries, but we are a sovereign state and such actions are unacceptable on our territory."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the Czech prime minister's actions were "dishonest and inappropriate."
"The Czech authorities have done serious damage to the Russian-Czech relations, without any grounds," the ministry said in a statement.
"Prague's actions will be followed by an adequate response, moreover they will be reckoned with while developing Russia's policy towards the Czech Republic. Such provocations should be answered for."