Russia threatens Poland and announces the response
The city of Warsaw confiscated the building of a Russian secondary school. Russia speaks of an “illegal hostile act” and threatens with “serious consequences”.
On Saturday, Poland confiscated the building of a Russian secondary school in Warsaw. A spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry told AFP that the school building now belongs to the Warsaw City Council. Therefore, the city administration commissioned a bailiff to confiscate the building.
Deputy Mayor Tomasz Pratek announced this afternoon that the city of Warsaw had “taken over” the building. Pratek told the Polish news agency that the Russian side initially “refused” to open the school’s gate and doors. “We had to call a locksmith who gave us access to the site with his tools.” Then the Russian deputy ambassador handed over the keys to the school.
An AFP photographer noted that Polish police officers and officials eventually entered the school. Shortly thereafter, some items were taken from the premises and loaded into vehicles with diplomatic plates.
Russia responded with harsh words
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it classified the confiscation of the school building as “another hostile act by the Polish authorities and a flagrant violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention”. She declared revenge and threatened “harsh reactions and consequences for the Polish authorities and Polish interests in Russia”.
The Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, spoke of an “illegal action”. He told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the confiscation was “a storming of a diplomatic facility.”
The Ambassador also noted that teachers and staff live in the school premises. School will continue in other buildings of the embassy to enable students to have a “good end to the school year” and exams.
Warsaw refers to the court ruling
Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski confirmed in the evening on Twitter that the school building “has no diplomatic character and is not protected by any immunity”. According to him, the expropriation carried out a January 2016 ruling by a Warsaw court that obligated Russia to return the building.
The building was nationalized in 1945 and handed over to the Soviet Union by the Communists in 1953. According to the Polish authorities, there was no legal basis for this.
AFP / Wanted
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