04:44 GMT06 August 2021
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    The brand's new 'USSR'-branded clothing has got the Baltic country's diplomats "sick" over what they call "imperial nostalgia."

    Discovering the existence of a women's mesh tank dress inspired by the 1991 jerseys warn by the Soviet soccer team on Adidas' official site, the Lithuanian foreign ministry's Stratcom Twitter account shot off an angry tweet marking its disappointment with the clothing company.

    The tweet prompted a tense Twitter debate, with users arguing about fashion sense, common sense, or going back into the details of 20th century history to try to get their point across.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if Adidas were to respond to this tweet by creating a jersey with the symbol of the Lithuanian SSR, just for the heck of it."

    "Well done Adidas. Soviet sport achieved a lot, and gave us many great athletes. With this series, Adidas is paying tribute to the sporting achievements of many generations of men and women. As for the Lithuanian [diplomats], they can continue to rave about the empire."

    The tweet, and Adidas' new clothing line, also sparked a debate among consumers.

    One user even trolled the foreign ministry with a photo of Arvydas Sabonis, who is considered to be one of the best European basketball players of all time, and happens to be an ethnic Lithuanian former member of the Soviet national team.

    Adidas' offering of Soviet-branded clothing items includes jerseys, mash-up jerseys, and layer tees, all of them featuring the characteristic red and white Soviet color scheme, and the letters 'USSR' imprinted on the front. In Lithuania, the use of Soviet symbols is banned in public, and subject to steep fines of between 144 and 289 euros.

    The German sportswear brand is immensely popular across Russia and the former Soviet Union. Soon after arriving in the country for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, the brand quickly gained a major following, which intensified in the 1990s after the Soviet collapse.

    Earlier this year, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told German media he knows Russia well and likes the country, adding that sanctions have harmed the West just as much as they have Russia.


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