The Czech Republic is suing Russia for unpaid rent on communist-era buildings

 While Czechoslovakia was a communist satellite, the buildings were given away for free "under the threat of Russian guns and tanks" but are still used today by Moscow diplomats.

The oft-tense diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Russia took a turn for the worse when the central European state’s foreign ministry announced it planned to sue the Kremlin for unpaid rent earlier this week.

The Diplomatic Service, an agency affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that handles real estate used by embassies of other countries, announced it had filed a lawsuit against the Russian state in the Municipal Court of Prague on Wednesday.

The lawsuit claims that Russia profited from “unjustified enrichment in the excess of 53 million Czech kruna” (€2m) over the past three years.

This follows a decision made in May cancelling the active agreements with Russia, the successor state of the Soviet Union, which were made in the 1970s and 1980s when Czechoslovakia was a communist satellite state under the influence of Moscow.

“We can confirm that the Diplomatic Service, a contributing organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, filed a lawsuit against the Russian Federation at the Municipal Court,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said.

According to the ministry, Russia did not acknowledge several attempts made by Czech officials to address these new circumstances.

“We have taken this step because we have not yet received any response to the pre-suit calls,” Lipavský added.

Nine active agreements or resolutions made over 40 years ago were cancelled by the government in Prague, which entrusted the Soviet Union with the free use of land for diplomatic purposes.


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