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    People carry Latvian flags as they march in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Germany Backs Latvia’s Move to Ban Ministers From Joining Riga Nazi March

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    German Foreign Ministry approves of Riga's decision to ban Latvian ministers from marching alongside Waffen-SS participants during the annual parade, according to the ministry's press office.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German Foreign Ministry approves of the Latvian Cabinet's decision to ban its ministers from marching alongside wartime veterans from the Latvian wing of the Waffen-SS in an annual parade in Riga, the ministry's press office told RIA Novosti in a statement on Friday.

    "The [German] government has taken a stand against abhorrent crimes committed in the name of Germany during World War II… We have a great deal of trust in the Latvian government that has barred all its members from taking part in the parade," the statement said.

    Some 140,000 Latvian men fought against the Soviet Union on the side of Nazi Germany during World War II. An annual parade honoring Nazi collaborators has since been held in the nation's capital of Riga on March 16, drawing criticism from anti-fascist movements.

    The parade has incited tensions with Latvia's Russian-speaking minority population, who disapprove of this veneration of SS veterans. Last year, this prompted the Latvian prime minister to officially ban Cabinet ministers from attending the march. The environmental minister was sacked for ignoring the ban.

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