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Polish authorities in Warsaw occupy Russian diplomatic real estate — Russian ambassador

The Russian Embassy sent a note of protest to the Polish Foreign Ministry over the illegal actions of the authorities
Russian Embassy in Warsaw Irina Polina/TASS
Russian Embassy in Warsaw
© Irina Polina/TASS

WARSAW, April 11. /TASS/. Polish authorities have occupied a building in Warsaw, which is Russian diplomatic real estate, Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev told Russian journalists on Monday.

"This morning, bailiffs arrived to the object of our diplomatic property in Warsaw at Sobieski, 100 and demanded to give the Polish state treasury represented by the Warsaw City Hall this building," the ambassador said.

"The head of the consular section of the embassy arrived there and said that this is an object of Russian diplomatic property and, accordingly, we do not consent to its seizure by the Polish authorities. Nevertheless, our protest was ignored. Polish representatives cut the locks on the gate and wicket door with a circular saw and occupied the building," Andreev explained.

According to the ambassador, the Russian Embassy sent a note of protest to the Polish Foreign Ministry over the illegal actions of the authorities. The diplomats "stated that Polish authorities granted us [the Russian side] the site in accordance with the agreement that dates back to 1970s. The Polish side did not terminate the agreement, it remains obligatory." "The buildings and infrastructure were built on this site by the Soviet side for diplomatic purposes and, accordingly, it is an object of Russian diplomatic real estate," Andreev said.

According to him, Poland had previously held a number of courts rulings regarding the site. "They directly contradict international law and the agreement I mentioned and the Vienna Convention on International Relations. Therefore, we consider the court decisions and the actions of the bailiff to be unlawful and unreasonable. We urged the Polish Foreign Ministry to take exhaustive measures to restore the legal order and return the legally owned diplomatic property to the Russian side. We expect reaction of the Polish side," the ambassador pointed out.

Commenting on the Warsaw City Hall’s statement that they plan to transfer the building to the Ukrainian side for further use, Andreev warned that it has fallen into disrepair. "Because of the obstructionist position of the Polish authorities, who for many years prevented the registration of this object as Russian real estate, we were deprived of the opportunity to use it. Accordingly, it was abandoned for many years, it was in disrepair, it degraded, and is now in an emergency condition. I don't know who is going to live there, but at this point it is categorically unsuitable for resettlement. It needs a long and costly repair," he said.

Occupation of the building

Earlier on Monday, representatives of the Warsaw authorities entered a residential complex belonging to Russia on Jan III Sobieski Street. Specialists are inspecting its technical condition. As TASS correspondent reports from the scene, police are on duty near the building, there are people in bright vests on the territory and at the entrance.

Ukrainian ambassador in Poland Andrey Deshchytsa, who visited the territory in the morning, said that he would ask the authorities to transfer the building to Ukraine on a long term lease. The Ukrainian flag is expected to be hoisted over the building in the coming days. According to the ambassador, the decision on the use of the complex has not been made yet. Perhaps there will be a kindergarten, a school, a Ukrainian center or a branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland.

The residential complex on Sobieski Street, which consists of two multi-storey buildings connected to each other, was built by the USSR in the 1970s for the families of diplomatic workers and Soviet specialists. There are about 100 apartments in the buildings. In recent years, the complex was empty, but its territory was guarded.