MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russia remains committed to maintaining a normal functioning of property owned by foreign countries in Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement on the situation around the Czech House.
"We are calling on Prague not to descend to the language of threats and to seek to find mutually acceptable disentanglements through diplomatic channels. Our policy to ensure a normal functioning of property of foreign countries in Moscow, regardless of its status, remains unchanged," the ministry said.
The ministry said the Czech ambassador was invited to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
"The head of the diplomatic mission was told that the Russian side was dismayed by the disproportionate reaction and escalation of emotions by senior Czech officials regarding this issue, which is represented in Prague as if it were the main problem in our relations," the ministry said.
According to the statement, the situation with the fence around the land plot that’s adjacent to the Czech House has a long history and is unrelated to the current state of affairs in bilateral ties.
"It’s not about politics. The administration of Moscow’s Tver District decided to remove part of the fence around the Czech House was made in compliance with decree No. 614-PP by the Moscow City government of November 2, 2012 to remove items that have been illegally placed at certain land plots. The Czech Embassy in Moscow has been aware for many years that the legal situation of the land plot occupied by the Czech House hasn’t been settled," the ministry said.
According to reports that reached Prague, employees of the Tver District administration on Monday removed some of the fence around the Czech House, which functions as the country’s cultural and research center. Representatives of the Moscow City government, according to Czech television, asserted that the construction of the fence hadn’t been permitted. The Czech Embassy erected a temporary barrier in its place for security purposes on the same day.
The Czech House is the largest foreign property owned by the Czech Republic. It includes a hotel and an amenity building for Czech diplomatic staff. As of now, only 2 apartments out of the total of 50 are occupied. The Czech House suspended its operations after February 24.