End of rent-free land use for Russia

Russian Embassy in Prague, Photo: Google Maps

The Czech government has decided to scrap several Communist-era decrees that allowed Russia to use land in Czechia rent-free for diplomatic purposes. The decision has elicited an angry reaction from Moscow, which is threatening to retaliate.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the decision at a press briefing in Prague, saying that it was a move aimed at putting bilateral relations between the two countries on a more equal footing.

“We are finally, after several decades, getting to a normal, standard state of affairs. In other words, we are now going to request rent from Russia for this land, at a rate that corresponds to the cost of rent for other similar plots of land in the given locality.”

In its report, the foreign ministry also referenced the unequal state of affairs between Russia and Czechia, citing that Russia uses 87,863 m2 of state land in Czechia for free, while Czechia in turn has access to only 26,875 m2 in Russia, which the report describes as “far from respecting the principle of reciprocity”.

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Author: Anna Fodor