Saeima moves forward with 'Moscow House' takeover plan

On December 21, the Saeima conceptually supported the intention of the takeover of the so-called Moscow House in Riga, Marijas Street 7. The Saeima recognized the relevant bill as urgent and plans to make a final decision on January 11.

73 deputies voted in favour of the law at first reading, while 11 voted against it.

The preamble to the Law explains that the so-called Moscow House has been used as a support point for various Russian and anti-Latvian measures. It is Russia's foreign policy tool through which it deliberately spreads its aggressive actions exculpatory propaganda and pro-kremlic interpretations of its history of orientation.

'The “Moscow House” was unveiled in the capital of Latvia at the end of May 2004. The information provided by the State Security Service shows that the so-called Moscow House has been used as a support point for various Russian-implemented anti-Latvian measures.

Supporters of Russian aggression have also been active in Moscow's house after Russia's war against Ukraine. Therefore, Latvia has a duty to take action against the existence of a support site for such activities, as read in the explanatory memorandum to the draft law

By law, it is planned to stipulate that the immovable property in Riga, Marijas Street 7, is the property of the Latvian State, and after the coming into force of the Law the Ministry of Transport will immediately enter such property in the Land Register in the name of the State in the person of the Ministry of Transport. 

The building will become publicly owned free of all encumbrances and burdens – all debt obligations, pledges and other encumbrances entered in the Land Register and rights established on the basis of lease agreements would be deleted.

Persons who own movable property in this building will have a duty to free the premises from such property within 7 days after the coming into force of the Law, if they do not do so, then the property remaining in the house will come into the ownership of the Latvian State, and the action with such property will be decided by the government.

Legal persons registered at this address will have to apply for a change of address in the Enterprise Register within 3 days after the coming into force of the Law.

Until the Ministry of Transport takes possession of the building, the State Police will ensure the guarding of the building, as well as order in the house and the territory adjacent thereto.

The Cabinet of Ministers have until March 31, 2024 to submit a report to the Saeima on the planned future action with this House.

The law is expected to take effect the day after it is announced.

It has been previously said that the building was intended to be used to assist Ukraine or Ukrainians. It is especially stressed that Latvia has no intention of obtaining any material benefit from this real estate.

The cost of maintaining the building is estimated at EUR 400,000 per year.

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