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Berliners, Parisians Slam Cities' Decision Not to Mark St. Petersburg Tragedy

© Photo : pixabayBrandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate - Sputnik International
In contrast to their reaction to other terrorist attacks, the authorities of Berlin and Paris didn't light up city landmarks in a show of solidarity with the victims, a decision which was greeted with disapproval by French and German citizens.

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Citizens of Paris and Berlin are confused by the authorities' decision not to light up iconic landmarks in the colors of the Russian flag following the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. 

On Monday, a blast in a train of the St. Petersburg subway killed 14 people. Forty-nine people were hospitalized.

Users of social networks asked why Berlin didn't take the decision to light up the Brandenburg Gate after the attack, since it did so after recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, London, Istanbul and Jerusalem. 

Following the Nice terrorist attack in July 2016, the city lit up the nearby French embassy with the colors of the French tricolore.

​"This was done virtually – our government is too antisocial to show our solidarity. #StPetersburg #BrandenbergGate #Russia"

​"I am embarrassed by #Merkel and #Berlin … #BrandenbergGate #Petersburg #Attack"

​"No solidarity with Russian enemies + no reminder of the victims of today's attack: #BrandenbergGate not in Russian colors."

​"What dreadful hypocrisy! Are Russian lives worth less?! How can you in Berlin look at yourselves in the mirror at all? #BrandenbergGate"

Berlin Senate spokeswoman Claudia Suender told Sputnik that the city does sympathize with the people of St Petersburg, but it didn't light up the landmark because it has a special set of rules for doing so, according to which the St. Petersburg terror attack doesn't qualify.

"With regard to the illumination of the Brandenburg Gate, there is a rule about using it for a twin city or a special place like Israel or Orlando. In Nice, Berlin schoolchildren were among the victims. On this basis, the decision was taken to light up the Brandenburg Gate," Suender said.

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The spokeswoman recalled that following the terrorist attack in a mosque in Quebec in January, the Gate also wasn't illuminated. She added that Berlin tends to follow the example of Paris, which hasn't lit up its Eiffel Tower to offer condolences for the victims of the St. Petersburg attack either.

"In general, the gate was illuminated in such circumstances following the French example, since France started to light up the Eiffel Tower. Capitals cities around the world also decided to start lighting up their symbols and Berlin is also involved in this family.'"

The Berliner Zeitung reported that while Paris, Brussels, London and Istanbul are twinned with Berlin, Jerusalem is not. 

In fact, Sputnik Deutschland reports, the Berlin Senate overlooked the fact that the central Berlin suburb of Mitte, where the Brandenburg Gate is located, is actually twinned with St. Petersburg's Petrogradsky District.

Paris residents have also noticed the lack of an expression of support from the city authorities following the St. Petersburg attack. Many internet users told of their disappointment on social networks.

​"We are waiting for the Eiffel Tower to be lit up in the colors of the Russian flag, like it was after other terror acts. #SaintPetersbourg"

​"So the lights on the Eiffel Tower go out when a panda falls from a eucalyptus tree in Indonesia, but when our Russian brothers are massacred…"

​"Not a single European monument, starting with the Eiffel Tower, was illuminated tonight in solidarity with the Russian people #Malaise"

​"Is the Eiffel Tower going to be lit up in the colors of Russia? Or will compassion be at half-mast like after the Lahore bombing?"

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