Saeima committee suggests nationalizing 'Moscow House' in Rīga

“In order to guarantee the security of Latvia's state, and to prevent threat to a democratic state in a timely manner”, the Saeima National Security Committee encourages the acquisition of the “Moscow House” (Maskavas nams) in Rīga into the state ownership of Latvia, the Saeima press service said in a statement on October 13.

The “Moscow House” was unveiled in the capital of Latvia at the end of May 2004. In honor of this event, Moscow Days took place and the then Mayor of the Russian capital Yuri Luzhkov arrived in Riga. Gundars Bojārs, the then-mayor of Rīga,  took part in the events.

Following Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Latvian Ministry of Justice decided to freeze the assets of the “Moscow House.” Later, there were suggestions by some politicians to nationalize the property, but these plans have not yet been implemented.

The Commission has prepared the relevant draft law and will direct it to the Saeima for consideration.

“As an instrument of Russia's aggressive foreign policy and propaganda, the Moscow House has no place in the heart of our capital. With this law, we will not only eliminate the backstop for various anti-Latvian measures taken by Russia, but we will make it clear that no one will ever be allowed to take action against Latvia as a democratic, legal state and deny its existence,” said Saeima National Security Committee Chairman Ainars Latkovskis (New Unity).

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, the Saeima Press Service said.

More than ten organizations and companies are still registered in this address, including, for example, the “Russian billiards federation”, “Russian Society in Latvia”, Latvian minority association Commonwealth”, the representation of the “Moscow Center for International Cooperation”, and others.

There have also been activities in this building after February 24, 2022, when Russia launched full-scale military aggression in Ukraine, showing support for Russia's aggressive policies. Thus, Latvia has a duty to take active action against the existence of a support site for such activities, according to the authors of the draft law.

The draft law provides that real estate in Riga, Marijas Street 7, is the property of the Latvian state. It shall be entered immediately in the Land Registry in the name of the State in the person of the Ministry of Transport, and in the ownership of the State this house shall be free from all burdens.

The annotation of the draft law indicates that the State already owns the land on which the building is located in the person of the Ministry of Transport.

Persons who own movable property in this building will have to vacate the relevant premises from them within seven days after the coming into force of the Law. If it is not done, the movable property will be considered a disowned property and it will belong to the State of Latvia, the draft law provides.

The guarding of the house on Marijas Street 7, as well as the procedures in the building and the territory adjacent thereto, will be ensured by the State Police until the immovable property is transferred to the State property, the draft law provides.

The Cabinet of Ministers is scheduled to order the Saeima to provide a report on the planned future handling of real estate by March 31, 2024.

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