Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned on Friday several European states’ reluctance to vote on a UN draft resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism in the Baltic states.
“The UN General Assembly annually passes the draft resolution [against glorification of Nazism]…European Union states vote against it,” Lavrov said, adding that he viewed this move as “disgraceful.”
Russia introduced a resolution to the UN condemning the glorification of Nazism and the desecration of World War II monuments in November, 2011. The United States, and a number of European countries, including the Baltic States, abstained from voting.
Lavrov said it was “inadmissible to glorify neo-Nazis in modern Europe, hailing SS divisions and conniving at it on an official level.”
The resolution condemns the construction of memorials in honor of former Nazis and Waffen-SS soldiers and the holding of public pro-Nazi demonstrations. It also calls for the prevention of proliferation of neo-Nazi ideas on the Internet.
Russia has been introducing similar resolutions to the UN since 2005.
Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in Latvia and Estonia. Russia has repeatedly criticized the Baltic States for allowing these parades to take place.
In April 2007, a Soviet war memorial was taken down from its plinth in the center of the Estonian capital, Tallinn, just before the May 9 Victory Day celebrations in Russia, and put up in another location on the edge of the city. The move led to street protests in which over 1,000 people were arrested and one Russian national died.