Warsaw takes over building 'illegally occupied' by Russian embassy

According to Jasina, the building did not have a diplomatic status. Google Street View

Warsaw City Hall on Saturday took over a Russian secondary school building in the city's Mokotow district that according to a court ruling has been illegally occupied by the Russian embassy in Poland.

The news was first broken on its website by the state-owned television channel TVP Info on Saturday.

"Police officers appeared on Saturday morning in front of a building at 45 Kielecka Street in Warsaw that houses a Russian secondary school," the website wrote. "It turns out that the city has started taking over the building that has been illegally occupied by Russians."

"A bailiff take-over has taken place at the request of the Capital City of Warsaw in full cooperation with the Foreign Ministry based on a court ruling that granted the Polish state the ownership right to the building that for years has been illegally held by the Russian embassy," Lukasz Jasina, spokesman for the Polish foreign ministry, told PAP on Saturday.

According to Jasina, the building did not have a diplomatic status.

Last year, the foreign ministry recommended launching proceedings into two properties held by the Russian embassy and not used for diplomatic or consular purposes, one of them being the school building and the other one a former housing establishment for Russian diplomats that had been left unused for decades. Warsaw took over the latter property last year following a court verdict.

TVP Info said that the school had probably been temporarily closed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.