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MOSCOW, March 16 /TASS/. Russia has urged international organizations to give a proper assessment to Latvia’s commemorations in honor of Waffen-SS veterans and influence the Latvian authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday.
"The [annual] memorial events, which were held in Latvia to honor the Waffen-SS legionnaires had clear propaganda purposes and were aimed at glorifying persons linked to mass crimes against humanity, which the Nazis and their accomplices had committed during the Second World War," the Russian Foreign Ministry said adding that the Latvian authorities had once again appeased to the organizers of the Waffen-SS march in which deputies of the ruling coalition took part.
"The systemic oppression of anti-fascist public organizations by the Latvian authorities by means, which include framed criminal proceedings similar to the ones initiated against Alexey Sharipov, the head of the Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee, is a source of our serious concern," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.
The Russian diplomats called on specialized international organizations, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism; the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities; the OSCE Office for Democracy and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Council of Europe as well as prominent human rights non-governmental organizations to give a proper assessment to the events in Latvia and exert effective influence on the country’s authorities," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.