Russia criticizes Latvia for giving up on protecting its Soviet-era monuments

“We are outraged by the decision of the Saeima [le parlement] of Latvia to unilaterally terminate Article 13 of the Russian-Latvian intergovernmental agreement of 30 April 1994, which requires the Latvian side to ensure the maintenance, development and security of memorial sites”, publicly declared the Russian Embassy in Riga, this May 12.

Absolute renunciation of civilized means of settling inter-State questions and blatant disregard for the fundamental principles of international law

And the diplomatic mission continued: “This situation is a clear illustration for the entire responsible international community of the true face of the political elite of Latvia today: cynicism, principle of double standards, renunciation absolute disregard for civilized means of settling interstate issues and blatant disregard for fundamental principles of international law,” the Russian embassy also said.

In fact, the news agency The Your reports on May 12 the vote by Latvian parliamentarians on amendments, suspending article 13 of the Russian-Latvian agreement in question. This suspension takes effect on May 16 and will last until Russia “stops violating Ukraine’s international rights, including by withdrawing its military forces from Ukraine, fully restores the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Ukraine in accordance with international law, and fully compensates the violations committed against the international rights of Ukraine”, according to this text. These clarifications come in the context of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, decried by the member countries of the European Union in particular as a war of invasion.

According to Leta, the amendments in question are supported by the government coalition and aim in particular to remove legal obstacles to the dismantling of the Monument to the Liberators of Riga and Soviet Latvia, located in Victory Park in the Latvian capital.

Tensions around the Soviet monument honoring the Soviet dead

This monument is at the heart of a standoff between the authorities and residents wishing to pay tribute to the soldiers who died during the Second World War. On May 9, according to the Rutply agency, flowers that had been placed in front of the monument located in the Latvian capital were removed by the authorities. The next day, people came back to lay flowers. Finally, on May 11, barriers were placed by the authorities around the site to prevent access, as seen in images released by Rutply. The Russian Embassy in Latvia called this latest decision by the Latvian authorities “unbounded rudeness”.

Moscow has been denouncing for several years the attacks on Soviet monuments in the former USSR or the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. At the end of April, for example, the town hall of kyiv in Ukraine unbolted a statue celebrating “friendship between peoples” dating from the Soviet era.

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