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House of Romanov never asked for official status and property in Moscow — Chancellery head

July 13, 2015, 14:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Journalists presented significantly distorted information, Alexander Zakatov said, commenting on media reports that the Imperial House has asked to provide them with a residence in the capital

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© Konstantin Leifer/TASS

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The Imperial House of Romanov headed by Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna has never asked the Russian authorities to recognize its official status and rights to property in Moscow, director of the House of Romanov’s Chancellery Alexander Zakatov told TASS on Monday.

"In this case, journalists unfortunately presented significantly distorted information," Zakatov said, commenting on media reports that "the Imperial House has asked to provide them with a residence in the capital."

"The House of Romanov has never asked about anything, written any addresses to the government or set any conditions," Zakatov stressed, adding that the descendants of the Imperial Romanov family think that it is fair "to recognize the Russian Imperial House as part of historical heritage." However, the House of Romanov thinks that "such initiative should come from the government itself, like it happened in other countries, where non-ruling dynasties are officially recognized as historical institutions and part of historical heritage," Zakatov said.

"The official status does not envisage any political powers or privileges and does not include the right to own property. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovha is, by the way, the opponent of restitution," the Chancellery director said. The Grand Duchess and her successor Georgy Mikhailovich often visit Russia, but do not intend to move to Moscow for permanent residence any time soon, he added. "Where they live is another matter which will be solved not at the government’s expense, of course, but on voluntary donations of citizens who respect the history of their country," Zakatov concluded.

Earlier today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the situation with the Romanov family’s alleged request to recognize their official status. "We do not know yet what this is all about. We saw reports in the media, but we cannot comment on anything yet," Peskov said.

Several media reported earlier that descendants of the Russian Imperial Romanov family want to return to Russia for permanent residence. However, several legal issues need to be settled before that, including the authorities’ recognition of the House of Romanov as an Imperial House. Representatives of the Romanov dynasty have allegedly contacted the Russian authorities with such request.

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