November 26, 2015 - 17:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Deputy Chair of Russia’s State Duma, co-author of the draft law on criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide explained in a conversation with PanARMENIAN.Net the reason behind submitting the bill to the parliament amid tensions with Ankara.
“It is a well-known fact that the Genocide was much discussed on the centennial of the tragedy,” Nikolay Levichev said. “On the eve of 2015, the party Fair Russia organized a large international conference on Genocide. In April, 2015, the lower House of the Russian Parliament adopted a declaration, expressing solidarity with the brotherly Armenian people and calling on the international community to resolve conflicts through dialogue, without use of force. Besides, a State Duma delegation participated in Yerevan-hosted commemoration ceremonies in April.”
For this reason, Levichev said, the draft bill on criminalization of the Genocide denial was a continuation of this year’s events, serving, first of all, as a reminder of the need to restore historical justice.
The vice-speaker said, however, that the international situation has certainly influenced the submission of the legislative initiative. The actions of the Islamic State group bear every resemblance to genocide with ongoing massacres and demolition of Christian holy sites.
“If we don’t pay due attention to the facts of the past in defending the historical truth, we are doomed to repeat the bloody events,” he said.
It is already clear, Levichev added, that the discussions on the bill will lead to debates outside the parliament, some of the colleagues from other parliamentary factions having already expressed the view that criminalization of Genocide denial is “an excessive measure.”