Latvian Interior Minister Eklons allowed protests due to the demolition of the Soviet monument The intention to hold a demonstration has already been announced in the Russian Union of Latvia
Security services in Riga are preparing for possible protests due to the demolition of the monument soldiers of the Soviet army, said the Minister of Internal Affairs of Latvia Kristaps Eklons in an interview with TV3.
He noted that after the dismantling of the monuments in the Estonian city of Narva, there were no major demonstrations, but the monument in Riga is larger, and its history is more complicated. “We are preparing for all scenarios, <…> and we will definitely be ready to act, make decisions and act to prevent possible unrest,— Eclones said.
Co-Chairman of the Board of the “Russian Union of Latvia” Miroslav Mitrofanov announced his intention to hold a protest action: the party has applied, the demonstration is scheduled for August 22. According to Mitrofanov, more than 10 thousand signatures were collected against the demolition of the monument to Soviet soldiers.
The memorial in the Latvian capital was opened in November 1985 in honor of the victory in the Great Patriotic War and the liberation Riga from the German troops. It consists of bronze figures of soldiers of the Soviet army and Motherland.
The decision to demolish the monument in Riga was made by the City Council deputies by a majority vote in mid-May. Legal restrictions on dismantling were lifted by a law passed by the Latvian Seimas, terminating an article of the treaty with Russia that guarantees the safety of war memorials.
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The Russian Investigative Committee promised to check the legality of the demolition of the monument, and the Latvian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where he was told that the Russian side considers the unilateral termination of the article of the treaty as a violation of Riga's obligations. This, according to the department, gives Moscow reason to demand compensation.
In May, Vice Mayor Edward Smiltens said that after the dismantling, Russia would be able to take the constituent elements of the monument. In August, Mayor Mārtiņš Stakis stated that none of the components is of artistic value, therefore, after the dismantling is completed, the details of the monument will be disposed of.
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