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Swedish Foreign Ministry supports Russia in dispute over apartment building

January 21, 2016, 14:09 UTC+3 STOCKHOLM
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STOCKHOLM, January 21. /TASS/. The Swedish Foreign Ministry recognizes the diplomatic status of the Russian trade mission’s apartment building and advises the Swedish debt collection agency against providing assistance to the company that bought the facility, lawyer Jerker Lore, of the debt collection agency told TASS.

Several days ago the debt collection agency received a request from the buyer with a request for assistance in taking off the Russian trade mission’s sign from the building and also in removing the automatic roadblock and concrete flowerbeds blocking the approach. The debt collection agency held consultations with the Foreign Ministry’s protocol department to hear in reply that the Foreign Ministry supported Russia’s stance regarding the diplomatic status of the facility.

The debt collection agency has not pronounced its final decision yet.

"At this point I am not prepared to make any decision regarding the issue. I’ve sent information concerning the status of the building to its owner, which is expected to present counter-arguments by February 2," Lore said.

At the end of December the municipality of the Lidingo island, where the apartment building of the Russian trade mission in Sweden is located, suspended water supply for several days.

The apartment building of the Russian trade mission in Russia was auctioned on September 12, 2014 for €1.3 million, while the real market price was estimated at €6.6-8.8 million. It was a third attempt at selling the building following a request from German businessman Franz Sedelmaier, who demanded collecting from Russia about €5 million in compensation for investment lost during attempts to start a business in St. Petersburg in the 1990s. The debt collection agency was acting on the basis of a ruling pronounced by Sweden’s Supreme Court on July 2011. The court said that the trade mission’s building should be sold, because most of its tenants did not enjoy a diplomatic status.

Russia does not recognize the legality of the debt collection agency’s actions and of the very decision by Sweden’s Supreme Court of 2011, taken in relation to Russian real estate enjoying a diplomatic status.

"The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed the existence of the diplomatic status in the past," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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