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Blatant violation of the Vienna Convention: Russian Foreign Ministry pledges harsh response to seizure of diplomatic property in Poland

Photo by Oleksii Topolianskyi on Unsplash

The Russian Foreign Ministry described as “a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention” another attack on Russian diplomatic real estate in Warsaw.

“This brazen step of Warsaw, which goes beyond the framework of civilized interstate communication, will not remain without our harsh response and consequences for the Polish authorities and Polish interests in Russia. The initiators of such controversial and provocative undertakings should understand this,” reads the statement.

According to Russian Ambassador to Warsaw Sergey Andreev, a protest will be announced in connection with the invasion and seizure of a Russian school building at the diplomatic mission.

“The qualification is unambiguous – this is an unlawful act, a violation of the Vienna Convention in diplomatic relations. We will naturally make a protest. This is an unlawful action, an invasion of the territory of a diplomatic facility,” Andreev said in a conversation with RIA Novosti.

According to him, a reaction from Moscow will follow to the actions of the Polish authorities. He added that Warsaw referred to the decisions of Polish courts which the Russian side considers illegal and politicized: “In civilized countries such issues are resolved through negotiations.

“Today the Polish authorities decided to take forceful action, despite the fact that this is a diplomatic school building… In such a situation, we can not confront the authorities in any way. We are forced to comply, today we will take the staff out, apartments for them have been prepared in an apartment complex,” – said the diplomat.

He added that efforts would be made to ensure that the school would continue its work.

“We will find a place for the school, it will continue its work in other premises of the diplomatic mission. The normal end of the school year, exams will be ensured,” Andreev said.

Polish authorities are artificially raising the degree of confrontation with Russia, Anton Orlov, director of the Institute for Modern Policy Research, told .

“Russia’s asymmetric reaction is what is being counted on in order to push its EU and NATO allies, who have a moderate stance on the military conflict in Ukraine, to take more decisive action. I am convinced that this is a joint and carefully planned provocation by the governments of Poland and Ukraine. That is why it is extremely important for us to keep our cool and give a clear-cut response,” the expert said.

On Saturday morning, April 29, representatives of the Warsaw mayor’s office, accompanied by police, arrived at the school building of the Russian embassy. They demanded to open the doors. In response Minister Counselor of the Russian Embassy Andrey Ordash called illegal all decisions of the Polish side to seize the building, and also warned about reciprocal diplomatic steps.

After that the Polish services began to break the gate, then they hung their own chain with a lock on the gate, so that the property could not be taken out of the school.

“They are currently walking around the premises, describing the property. The school staff has been told that they must leave the building by 6 p.m. (7 p.m. Moscow time),” he told RIA Novosti.

Yevgeny Primakov, head of Rossotrudnichestvo, also commented on the situation.

“Poles break down the doors of the Russian school at the embassy. Let’s remember this day. Schools. At the embassy,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.

Recall that in March 2022, the Polish Foreign Ministry announced the start of the seizure of Russian real estate in Warsaw. The Foreign Ministry applied to the state authorities with a representation “to initiate enforcement proceedings against two properties unused for diplomatic and consular purposes, which are in illegal possession of the Russian Federation”. The question was about the buildings in 45 Kelecka Street, where there is a school, and in 100 Sobieski Street, where Russian diplomats used to live.

Earlier this week, Polish prosecutors seized significant funds from the accounts of the Russian Embassy and Trade Mission in Santander bank. Before that, the accounts had been frozen by the Polish side allegedly on suspicion that they could be used for money laundering or terrorism.

Russian Ambassador to Warsaw Sergey Andreev called the incident an outrage, while presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that responding measures would be taken to Warsaw’s actions.

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