MOSCOW: Russia will lodge an official diplomatic protest over what it says is the illegal seizure by the Polish authorities of its embassy school in Warsaw, Moscow’s ambassador to Poland told Russian state news agencies today.
Sergei Andreyev, the ambassador, said the move was a violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, but Poland said it was within its rights to take back the building.
“Today the Polish authorities decided to take forceful action, despite the fact that this is a diplomatic building, a school building,” Andreyev told the TASS news agency.
“This is an illegal action and a violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. We of course will lodge a protest,” the RIA news agency cited him as saying, adding that he expected Moscow to weigh potential retaliation.
Polish state-run news channel TVP Info reported that police were present outside the school on Kieleckiej street in Warsaw this morning.
“It’s the right of the ambassador to make this protest. So far, we don’t know if he has made it or not, we are waiting for this,” Lukasz Jasina, a Polish foreign ministry spokesman, told Reuters.
“Our opinion, which has been confirmed by the courts, is that this property belongs to the Polish state and was taken by Russia illegally.”
The two countries’ already fraught relations have soured further over the war in Ukraine with Warsaw helping arm Kyiv.
Andreyev said earlier this week that Polish prosecutors had seized significant amounts of money from the frozen bank accounts of the Russian embassy and trade mission.