Czech party leader says president “might as well be” Russian agent after Novichok comments

Czech President Miloš Zeman has come under fire from political opponents following an interview on TV Barrandov on Thursday in which he maintained, according to a military intelligence report, that a small amount of the deadly nerve agent Novichok was produced in the Czech Republic.

Novichok was used in a brazen attack on British soil against a former Russian double agent and his daughter earlier this year. Great Britain says the evidence points to Russia.

A second Czech civil intelligence report contradicted the findings and the president’s words but Zeman said he preferred the military version. Petr Gazdík, the head of the smallest party in the lower house, STAN, tweeted a tough response, suggesting that Mr Zeman could easily be considered an agent of Moscow. He said the president not only contradicted the country’s foreign ministry but also provided fuel for Russian media.

The president has been accused of being a vocal supporter of Russia and apologist for Mr Putin on numerous occasions in the past, including the recent election where a FEMEN woman activist stripped to the waist and declared the president was Mr Putin’s “slut”.

The head of the Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala echoed Mr Gazdík’s words, saying the president had hurt the country’s position and only fueled Russian propaganda.