Czech House restaurant and hotel in Moscow to close from June

No more authentic Czech beer and pork knee for Moscow as the venue becomes the latest casualty of the recent Czech-Russian rift.


Written by ČTK
Published on 02.05.2021 09:52 (updated on 02.05.2021)

The restaurant and hotel at the Czech House in Moscow will suspend operation as of June, Czech Television has reported. The Czech Foreign Ministry has confirmed the information, adding that the closure will be temporary.

The closure comes along with the current diplomatic rift between the Czech Republic and Russia that has resulted in a decrease in staff members at the Czech embassy in Moscow.

Ondřej Černý, the general director of Czech Centres abroad, has written a letter to Czech House clients stating that the facility's apartment and office renting services will remain unaffected by the current situation.

The Foreign Ministry wrote that the operation of the hotel complex has recently been restricted due to the current epidemiological situation in Russia, regardless of the diplomatic rift.

"Another aspect in support of the closure of the Czech House's restaurant is the fact that most recently, its operation has been financially ineffective due to the restriction of the [House's] hotel and due to local epidemiological restrictions," the Ministry wrote in a press release.

The diplomatic rift between the Czech Republic and Russia flared up two weeks ago. Based on findings that Russian military intelligence agents were behind a devastating explosion in a Czech ammunition depot in 2014, the Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian embassy workers, and Russia retaliated by expelling 20 Czech embassy workers and calling Prague's steps a hostile action.

Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek told server Seznam Zprávy on Thursday that he would discuss the future of the Czech House in Moscow at a cabinet meeting.

"I would not anticipate anything, we have to table all possibilities," he said.

"Without elaborating, we can confirm that we are temporarily suspending the operation of the restaurant and the hotel in the Czech House in Moscow in connection with the restricted number of staff," the Foreign Ministry told CTK.

The Czech House in Moscow is the largest foreign compound owned by the Czech Republic. It is a vast complex about 500 meters from the Czech embassy and 2.5 kilometers from the Red Square and the Kremlin. The House contains 122 office rooms, 131 apartments, 87 hotel rooms, conference halls, lounges, a business center, a restaurant, a beer cellar, a gym, a sports ground, a fitness center, and a sauna.

In addition to business purposes, it also serves to promote Czech culture in Russia.

The Czech House was opened in 1986. From the beginning, its goal was to aid Czech exporters. Since the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993, it has been owned by the Czech Republic. Since 2002, it has been a part of Czech Centres, an organization subsidized by the Foreign Ministry.