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Russia files note of protest over demolition of Soviet monument in Latvia

August 31, 16:06 UTC+3
A monument to Soviet seamen in the town of Limbazi, some 100 kilometers from capital Riga, was built in 1975 in memory of Soviet seamen killed in the battle for the town on July 4, 1941
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Latvian town of Limbazi

Latvian town of Limbazi

© wikimedia.org/Laima Gutmane

MOSCOW, August 31./TASS/. The Russian Embassy filed a note of protest with the Latvian Foreign Ministry over the demolition of a monument to Soviet navy sailors, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Wednesday.

She said the ministry qualifies "the demolition of a monument to Soviet sailors in Latvia as inadmissible and being inconsistent with bilateral agreements".

Zakharova cited the intergovernmental agreement of April 30, 1994 on social protection for war pensioners of the Russian Federation and members of their families living in Latvia. Article 13 of the document commits the Latvian side to taking care of and protecting memorials.

"The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Latvia has filed a note of protest with the Foreign Ministry of that country, but there has been no response from Riga as of yet," she added.

Russia "expects a maximally quick reaction of the Latvian officials to this outrageous incident," she said.

A monument to Soviet seamen in the town of Limbazi, some 100 kilometers from capital Riga, was built in 1975 in memory of Soviet seamen killed in the battle for the town on July 4, 1941. The monument was built in the shape of ship’s bow with a large granite stone with a sign in the center.

The National Alliance "All for Latvia!"- For Fatherland and Freedom/lNNK", making part of the ruling coalition, posted on Facebook that the monument was pulled down during the weekend by the Limbazi branch of Daugavas Vanagi Latvija (Daugava Hawks in Latvia), an organization of Latvian Waffen-SS veterans who fought on the side of Nazi Germany in WWII.

They also posted a video showing the demolition process.

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