June 21, 2013 - 11:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Latvia’s parliament has approved in the third and final reading amendments to legislation that ban the display of Soviet and Nazi symbols at all public events, RIA Novosti said.
The ban involves flags, anthems, uniforms, as well as Nazi swastikas and Soviet hammer and sickle emblems.
The bill, passed by the parliament on Thursday, June 20 was partly inspired by annual pro-Russian rallies and SS veteran parades which Latvian authorities regard as attempts to “divide” the country. It will become law after Latvian President Andris Berzins signs it sometime during summer.
Russian lawmakers immediately condemned the Latvian move as “a blatant disrespect for the memories of those who perished fighting against fascism” and as an act of “discrimination against the veterans of Russia’s Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.” “Equating Soviet and Nazi symbols is pure blasphemy,” said Leonid Slutsky, head of State Duma committee on CIS Affairs.