Police raid on Warsaw facility was illegal under international law, says Sergey Andreyev
Poland “didn’t have the right” to seize the school run by the Russian Embassy in Warsaw and should have resolved the dispute through dialogue, Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreyev told RT. He argued that under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomatic premises “cannot in any case be the subject of break-ins and seizures.”
Polish officials, accompanied by police, entered the school on Saturday after opening the front door with a crowbar. Authorities insisted the building had no diplomatic protection because Russia had used it “illegally for years” and that the officers were carrying out a court order.
The Russian ambassador said Moscow was in talks with Warsaw on the matter until communication was cut short by the Ukraine crisis. Like many other NATO members, Poland imposed sanctions on Russia and froze embassy bank accounts last year.
“We believe that these issues can be solved exclusively by bilateral intergovernmental agreements, and not by court decisions,” Andreyev said, criticizing the decision to send the argument back to court as “completely illegal”.
There is a particular type of cynicism [in Poland’s actions] because we are talking about a school, about children. It’s the end of the school year and the exams are coming soon.
Andreyev explained that Poland granted the building in question to the embassy in 1953, when Russia was part of the Soviet Union and Poland was ruled by a socialist government. Warsaw only demanded the return of the building “for 10-15 years” he added.
Moscow reacts to the seizure of a Russian school in Poland
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, promising to retaliate and warning Poland to “consequences.” Andreyev said Moscow would react to the seizure of the school in due course. “Naturally, we will do this without haste or unnecessary emotions, after a thorough analysis of the context of our relations”, said the diplomat.
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