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Europe Responds to Metro Blast in Russia Only 24 Hours After Tragedy

© Sputnik / Alexandr PolegenkoParticipants of the action in memory to the St. Petersburg metro blast victims at Lenin Square in Simferopol
Participants of the action in memory to the St. Petersburg metro blast victims at Lenin Square in Simferopol - Sputnik International
In contrast to their reaction to other attacks, the local 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. Their reaction came only 24 hours after the tragedy and seems to have been forced by the public indignation.

A woman lays flowers in memory of victims of a blast in St.Petersburg metro, at Tekhnologicheskiy institut metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 4, 2017 - Sputnik International
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On Wednesday night, Parisian authorities turned off the lights of the Paris Eiffel Tower in solidarity with the families of those killed in the explosion in the metro of St. Petersburg. However, the move came only 24 hours after the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg took place.

By Tuesday evening it became known that the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, would come to the Russian embassy to lay a wreath of flowers. However, the fact that it took more than one day for French and German authorities to respond to the terrible event has led to assumptions that the response came as a result of indignation and disapproval among the public.

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

The same questions arose with regard to the absence of any reaction on the side of French authorities. On March 22, after the recent terrorist attacks in London, Parisian authorities turned off the lights of the Eiffel Tower to commemorate the victims at midnight, right after the attack took place.

"Everyone agrees that this is about the generally negative attitude of the press and politicians towards Russia. But the entire German blogosphere is full of other comments, almost all express their sympathy," chief-editor of the online newspaper World Economy in Berlin Alexander Sosnowski said.

The first reaction of Germany and French authorities to the tragedy was quite indifferent, if not to say hostile. For instance, Berlin city authorities flatly refused to associate themselves with the victims of terror in Russia. The press secretary of the mayor's office Tuesday morning justified the absence of any response with the fact that Berlin does not have twin-city relations with St. Petersburg. She also stated that the lights at the Brandenburg Gate are only turned on for special, extraordinary occasions of which the St. Petersburg attack apparently is not.

General view of emergency services attending the scene outside Sennaya Ploshchad metro station, following explosions in two train carriages in St. Petersburg, Russia April 3, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Some English-language media even allowed themselves to hint that "Putin is himself to blame" for the tragedy and that there is no one to feel compassion for at all, a position that caused disapproval among many European and Russian residents.

One of the rare voices of bewilderment was a column by Katie Hopkins in the Daily Mail.

"Why did the liberals care more about four dead in London than 14 dead in St. Petersburg? Or do they hate Putin so much that Russians don't count?" Hopkins asked rhetorically.

"So tell me, where's the show of solidarity for the Russian victims? How many public buildings will be lit up with the Russian flag? How many people have changed their social media profiles in support of the victims? How many celebrities have come running to thrust their face into the rosy glow of shared defiance?" she continued.

On Monday, a blast in a train of the St. Petersburg subway killed 14 people. 49 people were hospitalized.

The US and EU central authorities expressed their condolences in the first few hours after the tragedy. A similar statement was made by Ukraine.

Following the tragedy, member of the German Left Party Gregor Gysi stressed the importance of good relations between the EU and Russia, saying that the causes of terrorism can only be tackled with joint efforts.

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