Russia hits back at Czech threats to charge rent for diplomatic buildings

The Czech government accused Russia this week of using its diplomatic buildings in Czechia for commercial purposes.


Written by ČTK Published on 18.05.2023 13:00:00 (updated on 18.05.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Russia has reacted in anger at Czechia’s statement Wednesday that it would end measures allowing Russia to use diplomatic real estate for free. According to the Czech government, it is only logical to end the free-to-use offer because the plots of land – about 60 in total – are no longer properly being used for diplomatic purposes.

Czechia has also suggested that it will demand a three-year retroactive payment of rent for the plots of land used by the Russian embassy in Prague. Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova answered “of course” when asked whether Russia would retaliate if Czechia goes through with its proposals. She did not specify how.

“Dozens” of Russian diplomatic buildings do not serve their purpose, according to Czechia’s foreign ministry, with some being used for commercial purposes. The free-rent resolutions came into force in the 1970s and 1980s, under the Communist Party-led Czechoslovakia.

The case concerns buildings in Brno, South Moravia, Karlovy Vary, West Bohemia, and recreational facilities in Vlkančice and Jevany near Prague. As of May 2022, the buildings of the former Russian consulates general in Karlovy Vary and Brno also lost their status as consular premises.

According to the Foreign Ministry, some of the properties are used for commercial purposes and Russia is thus enriching itself unjustifiably by using the land free of charge.

"The total area of land used free of charge by the Russian Federation in Czechia (92,001 square meters, of which 87,863 square meters are state-owned) and those owned by Czechia in the Russian Federation (26,875 square meters) does not respect the principle of reciprocity," the Czech Foreign ministry said.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more