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Putin says Latvia, Estonia "lenient" towards Nazi sympathizers-1

(Recasts headline, lead, para 2, adds details in paras 3-6)

MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday of being lenient towards attempts to glorify the Nazis, and the European Union of remaining indifferent to the process.

"Latvian and Estonian authorities do not attempt to hide their lenient attitude towards attempts to glorify the Nazis and their accomplices, and the European Union ignores the facts," Putin told the Executive Committee of the European Jewish Congress.

The Russian leader said no Nazi criminal had been punished in Estonia since the country declared its independence following the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"Sanctioned Neo-Nazi rallies are held annually in Latvia on March 16 to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Latvian Waffen SS," Putin said.

The Russian president also pointed to a "strange, almost hypocritical" position of some European agencies toward the Estonian government's decision to move a Soviet WWII monument in the country's capital, Tallinn.

Putin also cited attempts by some political forces in Ukraine to clear the name of "participants in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, guilty of massacring Jews in Ukraine."

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