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Russian Embassy In Prague Denies Changing Address From Square Named For Opposition Leader


The square in Prague where the Russian Embassy is located was renamed two months ago in honor of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

PRAGUE -- Russia's Embassy in the Czech Republic has reportedly changed its formal address in Prague after the square where the embassy is located was renamed for a slain Russian opposition leader.

The embassy, however, took issue with Czech media that reported the change, asserting that it had merely reverted to a single postal address rather than the two it said the complex has long had.

The move comes amid diplomatic skirmishing between the two countries over World War II statues and other remnants of the Cold War period.

Two months ago, Prague officials dedicated the leafy square where the sprawling Russian embassy complex is headquartered after Boris Nemtsov.

Nemtsov was a former deputy prime minister who was fatally shot in February 2015 meters away from the Kremlin walls. He was an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Prague Renames Square Near Russian Embassy After Slain Opposition Leader Nemtsov
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The news portal and other Czech media reported on April 17 that the embassy had formally changed its administrative address from Nemtsov Square to a street a few hundred meters away where a consular building is located.

In a statement published on its Facebook page on April 18, the embassy denied it had changed any address and suggested that Czech officials were seeking to embarrass the Russian diplomatic outpost.

"We are surprised by the fact that the Czech Foreign Ministry quickly made the content of this note public, which was of a purely technical nature," the embassy said. "One is left with the impression that it is intentionally trying to give political overtones to this subject."

Czech Foreign Ministry officials have downplayed the decision.

The monument to Soviet-era World War II Marshal Ivan Konev lies on the ground after it was removed from its pedestal in Prague on April 3.
The monument to Soviet-era World War II Marshal Ivan Konev lies on the ground after it was removed from its pedestal in Prague on April 3.

Russia and the Czech Republic have also clashed over a statue of a Soviet-era military commander that Prague officials ordered removed recently.

The Russian Foreign Ministry protested the decision to take down the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev. Russian prosecutors have said they would launch criminal proceedings in connection with the decision.

Konev is seen as a hero by many in Russia but as a symbol of Soviet-era repression by many Czechs.

Czech President Milos Zeman echoed Russian outrage over the removal as "an abuse of the state of emergency.”

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