The first property is legally owned by a department in the office of the Russian President, while the second is owned by a foundation authorized by the President of Belarus, making them directly linked to Putin and Lukashenko. The directors of the two sanatoriums have been blacklisted by Latvia, the LETA journalist reported.
Currently, the Ministry of Justice has launched a difficult legal procedure so that these two facilities as well as the Moscow House in Rīga can 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 Justice Ministers of Latvia and Ukraine have already agreed on a solution which the Ministry of Justice is not yet prepared to make public. The Minister of Justice 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. So we need this agreement with Ukrainians, because we would use it for Ukrainian citizens,” said Andris Vītols, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Justice.
The opinions of the inhabitants of Jurmala on this decision differ.
“Yes, I think it should be given to Ukrainian refugees to help, so that Latvia, the whole of the European Union and America, so that everyone helps Ukraine,” Vita said.
“I think it’s bad. You cannot take away foreign things, properties,” Vladimirs said.
“No, we don’t want to abandon them. We want them to stay in Latvia and for ourselves,” said Irina and Marina.
“The Russians are invading Ukraine, well, they have no more say. It could be given to the Ukrainians, they have it tough,” Viktorija and Maija said.
The municipality of Jurmala declined an interview, saying in a written comment: “The municipality refrains from commenting on the issue of properties that do not belong to it. Their owners should be questioned about the use of the property.”
The municipality also said that more than 1,200 Ukrainian war refugees have been housed in Jurmala.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has yet to say exactly how long it will take until the process is complete and the buildings seized. “It is clear that it is in the interest of all European countries to ensure that the properties of the Russian state and Russian oligarchs are not on European Union territory. 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 this contract,” Vītols said.
One of the attractions of “Dzintarkrasts” is a holiday home built for Soviet leaders.
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