Ukrainians could be housed in Russian and Belarusian-owned real estate in Latvia

In the spring, two sanatoriums in Jūrmala belonging to aggressor countries – the Russian-owned “Dzintarkrasts” (also known as "Jantarnij Bereg" and not to be confused with several other properties called "Dzintarkrasts") and the Belarusian-owned sanatorium “Belorusija” – were forced to stop their work.

The former property is legally owned by a department of the Russian President's office, while the latter is owned by a foundation authorized by the President of Belarus, making them directly linked to Putin and Lukashenko. The managers of both sanatoriums have been blacklisted by Latvia, the LETA newsire has reported. 

Currently, the Ministry of Justice has launched a difficult legal process so that both these facilities as well as the Moscow House in Rīga could be seized and possibly house war refugees from Ukraine, Zemgale regional television reported on September 7.

The formal legislative process has not yet started, but the Ministers of Justice of Latvia and Ukraine have already agreed on a solution which the Ministry of Justice has not yet been prepared to disclose publicly. The Minister for Justice had made such an announcement at the beginning of the summer.

“It would be difficult to seize these Russian and Belarusian facilities if Latvia were to use them for our own purposes. We therefore need this agreement with Ukrainians, because we would use it for Ukrainian citizens,” Andris Vītols, the head of the Office of the Minister for Justice, said.

The views of Jūrmala residents on this move differ.

“Yes, I think it would have to be handed over to Ukrainian refugees to help, so that Latvia, the whole European Union and America, so that everyone would help Ukraine,” Vita said.

“I think it's bad. You can't take away foreign things, properties,” Vladimirs said.

“No, we don't want to give them up. We want them to stay in Latvia and for ourselves,” said Irina and Marina.

“The Russians are invading Ukraine, well, there is no more say for them. It could be given to Ukrainians, they have it tough,”  said Viktorija and Maija.

The municipality of Jūrmala refused an interview, stating in a written comment: “The municipality refrains from commenting on the issue of properties which it does not own. Their owners should be asked about the use of the property."

The municipality also said that more than 1,200 war refugees from Ukraine have been accommodated in Jūrmala.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has yet to say exactly how long it will take until the process is complete and the buildings are seized. “It is clear that it is in the interest of all European countries to make sure that properties of the Russian State and Russian oligarchs are not located on the territory of the European Union. We have now found support in other EU countries because they have similar problems. Well, I would say two months when we understand the scope of that contract,” said Vītols.

One of the attractions at "Dzintarkrasts" is a holiday cottage built for Soviet leaders. 

 

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