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    Soviet WWII monument in Budapest to stay in place - Russia

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Hungarian authorities have guaranteed that the monument to Soviet soldiers in Budapest will remain intact, Russia's Foreign Ministry said denying media reports.

    European media has reported that public organizations in Hungary, a former Communist bloc country, came up with an initiative to remove the World War II monument from the center of the capital, Budapest.

    "The monument to Soviet liberators in central Budapest is in its proper place, in its original shape and Hungarian authorities have guaranteed its inviolability," the ministry said, adding the monument had recently been repaired after being damaged during mass rallies in Budapest in September.

    Hungary's public organizations began collecting signatures to hold a referendum to cancel a law that authorized the erection of the monument at the time.

    Monuments to Soviet WWII soldiers are scattered all over the countries of the former Communist bloc, including eastern Germany. The monument in Tallinn, Estonia, came under threat after Estonia's commission on wartime burials recommended March 13 removing the Soviet statue from downtown to a "quieter" military cemetery, much to Russia's outrage.

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