More than half a year has passed since the building on Kielecka Street in Warsaw, which was illegally occupied by the Russian embassy, was taken over. The building was to be renovated and used as a school. However, the city has still not managed to take it over. Masovian Voivode Tobiasz Bocheński (PiS) accuses Rafał Trzaskowski’s (PO) officials of shortcomings in documentation. The city hall suggests that the voivode is maliciously delaying the entire process, picking on typos and entering into polemics with the appraiser.
On April 29, the bailiff took over the building at 45 Kielecka Street, which was occupied by the Russian embassy – in the opinion of the Polish state – illegally. – This is simply the recovery of the property of the State Treasury – said the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time. The ministry’s spokesman noted that the property had no diplomatic status.
Normally, it was a Russian high school where the children of diplomats and soldiers studied. The bailiff’s action took place at the request of the city, in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The action of taking over the building was summarized on April 29, in the evening, on social media by the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.
“Over the years, representatives of the city and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have made a number of attempts to regulate the legal status of the property. Unfortunately, the Russian side has not decided to voluntarily hand it over,” Trzaskowski recalled then. He also appealed to the court judgment that ordered the return of the property. “The takeover was based on the judgment of the District Court in Warsaw of January 18, 2016, which additionally obliges the Russian Federation to pay over PLN 31 million with interest for the illegal occupation of Kielecka 45,” he recalled.
The building was intended for education
On May 9, the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, officially appealed to the Masovian voivode for the transfer of the property at 45 Kielecka Street to the local government.
The City Hall announced that after the renovation, the facility will serve Warsaw’s children and youth. Rafał Trzaskowski then said that the facility would be useful during the accumulation of age groups. – We will certainly find a lot of various secrets here – we will discover them all, and then we will be able to renovate and designate this building for Warsaw’s children – he declared.
The City Hall emphasized that it wants the building to be used by children from the 2023/2024 school year. However, this did not happen.
The voivode points out the shortcomings in the documents
A few days ago, during a press conference, the Masovian Voivode talked about the matter of the property at 45 Kielecka Street. He assured that he was fully willing to let it come to the city and serve its residents.
– To this day, we have not received fully completed documentation that would allow us to sign the documents. We have asked the capital city of Warsaw many times to submit a current inventory of the building, to complete the appropriate signatures of appraisers and other issues that are important from a formal point of view, so that we can close this case. More than half a year has passed since this declaration and the capital’s officials have not managed to bring this matter to an end – said Tobiasz Bocheński.
City Hall: the voivode argues with the appraiser
What does the town hall say? – All necessary and legally required documents needed to transfer this building to us as a donation were sent to the voivode immediately after recovering the property from the Russian Federation. This took place in May 2023 – assured us Jakub Leduchowski, press spokesman for the city hall.
He added that it was only on October 4, i.e. four months after taking over the building, that the Masovian Voivodeship Office received comments from the City Hall. – They concerned the valuation report – clerical errors (which have no impact on the final result of real estate valuation) or the property appraiser’s assumptions (which were explained and justified in the content of the report). The comments concerned the specialist’s work skills, Leduchowski said.
An official of the mayor of the capital noted that the voivode’s employees have assumed “the role of the body assessing the work of a property appraiser.” – So far, the voivode has not had the habit of questioning the findings of professionals – said Jakub Leduchowski. The appraiser employed by the city hall was also supposed to respond “expressly” to the voivode’s comment. As Leduchowski calculated, the appraiser’s response was submitted in mid-October, and the response to the voivode’s subsequent questions “was sent by the city on October 27.”
– We expect that this will not be the end of the polemic between the voivode’s services and the property appraiser – admitted the city hall spokesman.
The office completes the paperwork and waits for the decision
The voivode also asked to provide an architectural and construction inventory of Kielecka 45. – This is a precedent, because such a document has never been required before. Nevertheless, we also prepared this document and then submitted it together with the property appraiser’s position, Leduchowski said. He also expressed hope that “the voivode’s inquisitiveness will be satisfied and he will make the long-awaited decision to hand over Kielecka 45 to the city.”
– We had hoped that we would be able to allocate this facility at least partially to the needs of the capital’s students from last September, but this did not happen – through no fault of ours. It is difficult to even comment on suggesting problems on our side in completing the documentation. This is, of course, untrue – summed up the city hall official.
Main photo source: Municipal Office of the Capital City of Warsaw