The Russian ambassador to Latvia says he disagrees with the president of the Baltic state that there is not "even a drop of Nazism" in annual marches of Waffen SS veterans in the country.
Latvia annually holds demonstrations by former legionnaires of the Latvian Waffen SS legion on March 16. The Baltic state's President Valdis Zatlers said that he did not consider the legionnaires, many of whom participated in mass killings of Jews, to be Nazis.
"I can argue on how many grams of fascism and Nazism there. In my opinion there is quite a few of them [of grams] there," Alexander Veshnyakov said in an interview with Latvian PRO100 television channel.
However, Veshnyakov said he praises Zatler's decision to come to Moscow for May 9 Victory Day celebrations.
"Mr. Zatlers is a welcome guest for us... His decision gives us hope for the development of our good-neighbor and partner relations. I evaluate this decision as positive," he said.
The WWII continues to be a contentious issue in relations between Russia and both Estonia and Latvia, over the Baltic states' perceived glorification of Nazi collaborators.
Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in the two Baltic states.
RIGA, May 8 (RIA Novosti)