MOSCOW, October 23. (Itar-Tass) - Latvia is split over the initiative to tear down a memorial to Soviet Liberators of Riga from the Nazi occupation. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Moscow is deeply outraged with “the cynical statement” made by Latvia’s Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, in which he called for tearing down the Riga's Memorial to Soviet Liberators.
The diplomat said: “Such provocative statements are another testament to official Riga politics deliberately falsifying the outcome of the World War II, based on Latvia’s sacrilegious initiative to seek ‘reconciliation’ between veterans of the anti-Hitler coalition and the former Latvian Waffen-SS legionnaires.”
“We hope that Latvian authorities realize that their incessant strife for rehabilitation of Nazis severely undermines development of amicable dialogue with Russia,” he stressed.
This initiative has caused internal controversy as well. For instance, the overwhelming majority of residents in the Latvian capital of Riga that make 79 percent oppose the demolition of the monument to Soviet warriors-liberators, Riga Mayor Nil Ushakov recalled on Monday about the results of the sociological survey conducted by the Latvian Public Opinion Research Centre SKDS.
President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojars Sparitis later joined protests against dismantling the WWII memorial to Soviet soldiers who liberated Riga.
Andris Alksnis - deputy of the Latvian Seim from the Center of Accord - the biggest bloc of the opposition, who represents the interests of the Russian-speaking population urged the prime minister not to drive a wedge between people in society and not to abuse the most painful pages in Latvian history.