22:03 GMT +311 December 2018
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    People hold flags, as they participate in the annual procession commemorating the Latvian Waffen-SS (Schutzstaffel) unit, also known as the Legionnaires, in Riga, Latvia March 16, 2017

    Turning Blind Eye to Neo-Nazi Marches in Latvia 'Shame for EU, NATO'

    © REUTERS / Ints Kalnins
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    Neo-Nazi marches in Latvia are shameful for the European Union and NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, as Riga sees rallies of former members of the Latvian Legion, a formation of the armed wing of the German Nazi party during World War II, and their supporters.

    RIGA (Sputnik) — Such rallies are held in Riga every March 16. The rallies, which cause resentment of anti-Nazi organizations around the globe, are usually attended by hundreds of people.

    "We are deeply concerned about certain European countries trying to turn a blind eye to the strengthening neo-Nazi trends, systematic vandalism acts against World War II memorials and burial places. Amid wailing about the threats for liberal European values we can see the so-called ‘silence of the lambs’ regarding the state support for regular neo-Nazi rallies in Latvia. It is a shame for the European Union and for NATO. In fact, it tolerates insults against the memory of the millions of victims, ignores the decisions of the Nurnberg tribunal and UN General Assembly resolutions on the inadmissibility of Nazi heroization," Lavrov said.

    The Latvian Legion was established in 1943. On March 16, 1944, the legion fought the Soviet Army near the Russian town of Ostrov, with the date being commemorated annually. The total number of the legion’s members amounted to almost 150,000 people.

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    neo-nazism, European Union, NATO, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, Riga, Latvia
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