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Attempt to auction diplomatic property may harm relations with Sweden

January 28, 2014, 20:28 UTC+3 28

Russian embassy said it was “deeply concerned” about the intents of Swedish judicial and executive institutions

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STOCKHOLM, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. An attempt to sell the Russian trade mission’s residential building in Sweden in an auction would do considerable damage to bilateral relations, the Russian Embassy in Sweden has told Itar-Tass.

“We assess the Swedish collection agency’s announcement it will put up for sale the Russian trade mission’s house in Stockholm as clashing with international law regulations and an attempt at compulsory acquisition of diplomatic real estate,” said press attach Alexander Pashedko. “According to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the building enjoys diplomatic immunity, surely, including, immunity against enforcement.”

The embassy said it was “deeply concerned” about the intents of Swedish judicial and executive institutions “to gravely violate these underlying principles” that would certainly do serious damage to bilateral relations, he added.

“The building in question is property of the Russian diplomatic mission, and its residents - a total of about 40 families - have diplomatic immunity and are inviolate according to the law,” Russian Ambassador to Sweden Igor Neverov said, adding Russia “will not admit any strangers to our sovereign property”, will not accept the auction as a legitimate action and the residents “will not leave the building”. A conscientious buyer aware of the situation would hardly buy Russian property, unless the ultimate aim is a provocation, Neverov said.

In the previous enforced auction the building was estimated at 62 million kronor ($9.25 million) in September 2012. There were no buyers. The price has been now dropped to 10.5 million kronor ($1.64 million). The auction is scheduled for February 18, says the Swedish collection agency’s site.

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