“We hope the Swedish authorities will take all necessary measures to ensure inviolability and security of the Russian mission in line with Sweden’s liabilities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,” the spokesman stressed.
“Any attempts to get into the building or any other actions that can be interpreted as a threat to security and normal works of the diplomatic mission and its personnel will be immediately stopped,” Viktor Khrekov, press secretary to the Kremlin administration property manager, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
Khrekov said Russia considers the auction as “a blatant violation of international law,” which had once again demonstrated “the existence of double standards in the policy of the so-called Western democracies.”
“Seeking to teach Russia a lesson in law, the Swedish state has got so engrossed with its role of a teacher that it overlooked the fundamental norms that serve as a basis of interstate relations,” he said. “Unjustified striving to defend, at any cost, the image of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, which took a wrongful decision back in 1998, has led to a situation when the Swedish state has ceased to be a neutral bailiff to become a defendant.”
“Protection of diplomatic property and observance of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is a direct responsibility of the country of a diplomatic mission accreditation,” he added.
“Sweden can be sure of a proportionate answer from Russia, which in a situation like this has to take efforts to protect its sovereign immunities and rights using all available instruments,” Khrekov stressed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sweden’s Enforcement Authority sold the residential building of Russia’s trade mission for 20.5 million kronas (about 2.2 million euro) at an auction in Stockholm.
At the beginning of the auction, the organizers warned potential buyers that people residing in the building enjoyed diplomatic immunity and that Russia would not let the potential buyer it the building. Lawyers of the Russian side reminded that forcible sale was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, under which the diplomatic immunity status was applicable to the building too.
In October 2010, a Stockholm court ruled to arrest the property of the residential house of the Russian trade mission in favour of German businessman Franz Sedelmayer, who claimed a sum of about five million euro as compensation for his investments lost in a joint investment project with Russian authorities in St. Petersburg in the early 1990s. In its appeal, Russia drew attention to the fact that all Russia’s assets in Sweden were the state property and were used in purposes which enjoyed both state and diplomatic immunity status.
But in July 2011, Sweden’s Supreme Court lifted the Russian trade mission’s sovereign immunity status, since the majority of its residents did not enjoy the diplomatic status.