Embassy of Russia in Prague
The Embassy of Russia in Prague is the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation to the Czech Republic. The chancery is located at nám. Pod kaštany 1 in the Bubene? neighbourhood of Prague 6 district in Prague.
History of the chancery
The building which is now the embassy chancery was bought by Ji?í Popper, a Czech banker in 1927.<ref name="aktualne">Template:Cite news</ref> Edvard Beneš, the then President of Czechoslovakia in exile and Ji?í Popper, both of whom knew each other, fled to London on the same aircraft in 1938.<ref name="aktualne"/><ref name="kommersant">Template:Cite news</ref>
The Bubene? Popper house and surrounding land was confiscated by the Nazi authorities on 16 March 1939, a day after their occupation of Czechoslovakia,<ref name="aktualne"/> and was subsequently used as the Prague headquarters of the Gestapo.<ref name="aktualne"/> In 1945, after the end of the war, the family attempted to reclaim the property, but were prevented from doing so due to the nationalisation decrees of Beneš, who returned to Czechoslovakia as President.<ref name="rt">Template:Cite news</ref> Although Beneš was aware that the Czech–Jewish banker was still alive and intended to return to Prague, the property was granted to the Soviet Union by Beneš as a gift in thanks for the Soviet liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi rule. The building was used by the Soviets to accommodate the embassy of the Soviet Union to Czechoslovakia.
The Popper family were to receive compensation for the property, however, this did not eventuate due to the installation of a communist government in Czechoslovakia in 1948.<ref name="kommersant"/>
In 1990, laws were passed in Czechoslovakia which made it possible for restitution to be offered for property which was confiscated after 1948.<ref name="kommersant"/> The Czech Constitutional Court has overturned several of the Beneš decrees<ref name="kommersant"/> and in July 2008, Lisbeth Popper, the daughter of Ji?í Popper, filed suit in the Czech courts against both the Czech and Russian States seeking restitution of the property.<ref name="aktualne"/> According to the court filings, the property is valued at CZK1 billion, which in the event of the claim being successful would be paid by the Czech State. The Russian State, which assumed title to all foreign property owned by the Soviet government after the dissolution of the USSR, would also lose title of the property and a new chancery for the Russian embassy to the Czech Republic would need to be found.<ref name="rt"/>
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the property is protected under current Czech legislation and international law and that it dismisses any attempts by parties to claim property of the Russian state, either inside or outside of Russia.
- Czech Republic–Russia relations