HC Deb 21 November 1984 vol 68 cc187-8W
Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on the negotiations with the Soviet authorities on the reciprocal provision of sites for new embassy premises and staff accommodation in London and Moscow; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton

Negotiations with the Soviet Government over the reciprocal provision of embassy sites in London and Moscow have taken place, intermittently, over many years. The current position is that we are considering two central sites in Moscow which the Russians have offered to us: one for the embassy offices and staff accommodatzion and one for the ambassador's residence. In London, the Soviet Government have been offered two sites: one at 1–7 Kensington Palace gardens, for new offices and some staff accommodation and the other at 245 Warwick road, for further staff accommodation and amenities. The normal planning procedures will be followed in developing these two sites. We are very conscious of the need for sensitive architectural treatment, particularly in relation to the Kensington Palace gardens site. The Soviet ambassador's existing residence at 13 Kensington Palace gardens will be retained, but we expect other properties leased by the Soviet Embassy in Kensington Palace gardens to be given up once the new offices and staff accommodation are occupied. Negotiations are continuing.

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