Transport Minister Martin Kupka at a press conference after the government meeting on March 8, 2023.
Prague – Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) today, contrary to expectations, he did not submit a proposal to the cabinet to cancel some government resolutions from the 1970s and 1980s, which entrusted real estate to the then Soviet Union for free use for diplomatic purposes. Minister of Transport Martin Kupka (ODS) said after the meeting that the cabinet agreed with the submitter, who wants to further refine the proposal. According to Czech diplomacy, Russia uses the land for purposes other than diplomatic purposes, so there is no reason to continue providing it free of charge.
The resolutions, which according to the original information are to be canceled, concern Prague apartments near the embassy, but also buildings in Brno, Karlovy Vary and recreational facilities. “We granted the petitioner's wish to return to it only when everything is fine-tuned,” Kupka said. written by ČTK Lipavský.
The Czech Republic has strained diplomatic relations with Russia after the Czech secret services and investigators discovered the year before last that Russian secret service agents were involved in the 2014 explosions in ammunition warehouses in Vrbětice in the Zlín region. The number of Russian diplomats in the Czech Republic was further reduced even after last year's Russian invasion of Ukraine. There are currently six diplomats working at the Russian Embassy in Prague. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this fact also excludes the possibility that the real estate would be used exclusively for diplomatic purposes.
About two and a half years ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over to the Russian side a list of real estate owned by Russia in the Czech Republic, which it considers to serve diplomatic activities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Czech legal system will be applied to the full extent of the rest, which is not used for state non-commercial purposes, Lipavský previously told ČTK.
Last year in May, the minister created a working group that dealt with the correction of property rights to real estate used by Russia in Czech republic. The group focused on the specification of the properties in question, their legal status and the method of acquisition by the Russian side. The ministry registered about five dozen properties. The group focused on those that are Russian-owned, both in Prague and in other municipalities and cities.