The Riga City Council approved the demolition of the monument to Soviet soldiers

AT message The website of the Riga City Council notes that the City Council “decided to order the Riga Monuments Office to take the necessary steps to dismantle the monument in Victory Park.” The property department and the police should support the department in “dismantling the Soviet monument.”

During the meeting on May 13, the mayor of Riga, Mārtiņš Stakis, said that the cost of the work has not yet been determined, but, according to him, it will not be small. At the same time, the head of the city stressed that the dismantling of the monument is not a city issue, but a national one, since many residents “do not want to see Soviet monuments associated with the USSR or Russia.”

The demolition of the monument became possible after the Saeima of Latvia adopted a law on May 12, terminating the article of the agreement with Russia on the preservation of military memorials. The monument in Riga was mentioned in the draft law as an example of a monument that serves purposes that the Latvian authorities do not support.

“Some monuments in Latvia, including the monument to Soviet soldiers who liberated Soviet Latvia and Riga from Nazi invaders, are often used not to perpetuate the memory of those who died in World War II, but to glorify the Soviet occupation and support Russia’s policy of expanding territory with illegal military force, quotes RBC line from the bill.

Minister of Justice of Latvia Janis Bordans spoke even more radically about the monument to Soviet soldiers. On February 26, he said that he posed a threat to the national security of the country.

“The occupation monument has no place in the center of Riga, and it poses a threat to national security. The symbols of the evil empire should not be in the heart of the capital.” wrote Bordance on social media.

The discussion about the dismantling of the monument is accompanied by street actions in Riga, which began a few days ago and continued on May 13, on the day of the meeting of the city’s legislative assembly in the Latvian capital. The last rally was inconsistent and, as informs RIA Novosti, during it, the police detained several demonstrators who opposed the demolition of the monument. The agency also notes that pro-Ukrainian activists with flags of Ukraine and symbols of the Azov regiment were seen on the square in front of the city council.

“International Revolt”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned the dismantling of the monument in Riga in the context of general Western Russophobia, which this time he called “international disdain”. The statement was made even before the vote in the Riga City Council, but after the Seimas had removed the legislative obstacles to the elimination of the monument.

“The fact that they are doing there with monuments and other issues that are directly regulated by the existing existing intergovernmental agreements cannot be explained by any reasonable explanation, except for Russophobia, except for the absolute oblivion of all their obligations. We have such a weekly program on television called “International Review”. Here is what we observe in the actions of the West, I would call as an option “international opposition”, here. This is a harsh word, but, in my opinion, it very clearly and clearly reflects the actions of the West and the motives that guide them,” Lavrov said during a press conference on May 13 following a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CIS countries in Dushanbe.

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, added that the actions of the Latvian leadership are provoking a conflict within their own country.

“The orgy started by the Latvian authorities regarding monuments not only destroys the foundation of normal interstate relations, but also provokes an interethnic conflict in Latvian society. The initiators of such a policy do not seem to understand this, ” says in Zakharova’s commentary on the decision of the Seimas to terminate the article of the treaty on the preservation of military memorials.

The Russian Embassy in Latvia expressed indignation at the decision of the Latvian parliamentarians and noted that “settlement of accounts with their own historical past is set in grand style in Latvia.”

“This perfidious, unjustified step has no moral or legal grounds and is a gross violation of the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, including the provisions of this treaty itself,” stated diplomatic mission.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption Vasily Piskarev addedthat “the Latvian authorities are inciting a civil war in their own country”, intending to demolish the monument. According to him, this will be “a desecration of the memory of Soviet soldiers” and will become a “slap in the face” not only to the Russian-speaking population of Latvia.

In turn, the governor of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, said that if the monument in Riga is dismantled, then it will be accepted and hosted by its region.

“Unlike most European politicians, we remember well the lessons of the Second World War and the price of the Victory over Nazism. We remember the history, we respect its heroes and we will find a worthy place for the memorial. For example, in Ivangorod near the border with the Baltic States, wrote governor in his telegram channel.

Executive Secretary of the HRC Alexander Tochenov named the demolition of the monument to Soviet soldiers by vandalism and an unprecedented event: “They are barbarians. They don’t remember their history, they don’t remember anything. It’s just unprecedented. For us it is. Where civilized, humane, democratic Europe is looking, I don’t know. But what is happening there is vandalism and barbarism.”

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