The most high-ranking debtor in Moscow in the US Ambassador.
According to Director of Administration on Managing Diplomatic Buildings of Russian Foreign Ministry Ivan Sergeev, Americans owe Russia $9,000,000 of rent of Spaso-House in the lane of Arbat, Moscow.
The lease contract was signed in 1985 for the period of 20 years. The rent was 25 roubles ($42 at that exchange rate) for a square meter per year. Totally, Americans paid 72,500 roubles a year – fair price at that time.
After this, Russia experienced inflation, default and denomination of Russian rouble. As a result, the pay for renting Spaso-House is 72 roubles 50 kopecks… per year. This means that Americans rent the luxury building for the price of one bottle of vodka in the center of Russian capital (where one bedroom apartment rent costs minimum $300). Real estate experts estimate the real price of renting one square meter of Spaso-House as $600 per year.
The lease contact terms can be changed every 5 years. Administration on Managing Diplomatic Buildings of Russian Foreign Ministry has been trying to do this since 1994, but Americans ignore all its queries and continue rent the building for 72 roubles ($2) per year. Mr. Sergeev considers this money mockery, and returns it back to the US Embassy. The debtor – US Ambassador Alexander Vershbow – says that the USA has been waiting for independent calculation of the cost of this property from Russia.
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