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Russia calls on OSCE to give profound assessment to Waffen-SS marches in Baltic States

September 27, 0:58 UTC+3 WARSAW
"The annual marches held by veterans of Waffen-SS, an organization which the Nuremburg Tribunal recognized as criminal, cannot be justified," Alexey Zhafyarov said
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A march of Latvian Waffen-SS unit veterans and their supporters in central Riga

A march of Latvian Waffen-SS unit veterans and their supporters in central Riga

© Kristina Kormilitsyna/TASS

WARSAW, September 26 /TASS/. A Russian delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) highlighted the spread of Nazi and neo-Nazi ideology in the Baltic States and asked the OSCE conference devoted to the implementation of obligations in the human dimension to asses this phenomenon.

"The annual marches held by veterans of Waffen-SS, an organization which the Nuremburg Tribunal recognized as criminal, cannot be justified. We are calling on the governments of the Baltic countries and other OSCE member states to give a profound assessment to these Nazi gatherings, which is particularly important in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Nuremburg verdict (passed on the Nazi criminals)," Alexey Zhafyarov, a representative of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in charge of enforcement of laws on federal security, inter-ethnic relations and counteraction to extremism and terrorism, told the conference on Monday.

"A radical increase in the number of followers of radical right views has recently been seen everywhere around the globe. Growing violence and citizens’ persecution along national or religious lines is a consequence of this trend," Zhafyarov explained.

"In this connection, the Russian side has been forced to express its concern with a threat of spread of extremist ideology in many countries. The dissemination of the ideas of nationalism and neo-Nazism is of special concern for Russia," he said.

Zhafyarov gave examples of high-profile ethnic-motivated hate crimes and the growth of Islamophobia in the United States; manifestations of racism and xenophobia in Greece and the Netherlands; an outbreak of racism and xenophobia in Britain where instances of insults and attacks of Britons on representatives of ethnic minorities and the citizens of other EU countries who come to Britain in search of work have been on the rise since the Brexit referendum.

"In Sweden, racism and xenophobia are the root cause of about 70% of crimes; most threats come from rightist extremists. As a rule, an offender faces real punishment only in 3-5 percent of cases," Zhafyarov stressed.

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