President Miloš Zeman asked the Security Information Service (BIS) for the names of Russian spies, got turned down, and was then criticised by opposition party members.
According to STAN chairman Vít Rakušan, Zeman has been at war with the BIS for some time, endangering the integrity of Czech national security by making it vulnerable to informational leaks.
Though others have commented on Zeman’s request, Jiří Ovčáček, spokesman for the president, told iDnes.cz that he couldn’t confirm that it happened, saying: “I follow the law, so I’m not familiar with classified information.”
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also declined to comment for the same reasons.
“For me, the BIS works well in the Czech Republic, it is able, willing and courageous to identify the risks that really exist here, the risks from foreign powers. It is almost certainly able to identify the people who are helping the risk. We can assume that some of those people, for example, belong to some circle of associates of the President,” he told iDnes.cz.
In the past, Zeman has been slammed by the opposition for being a pet of the Russians, working to serve the interests of Russian oligarchs in the Czech Republic. Markéta Adamová, leader of the TOP 09 party, said that “The BIS is constantly warning of Russian infiltration so this president’s little game can’t have any other impact other than to hurt the Czech Republic.
Chairman of the Pirate Party, Ivan Bartoš, also criticised Zeman’s conduct, saying: “We think that something like this is unacceptable without a really good justification. Everything has to be assessed by the BIS Control Commission. This is especially concerning when the President – again without any explanation – sent his advisor Martin Nejedlý to Russia, when there are rumours that he’s going there to negotiate a tender for Dukovany.”