Dismantling of Soviet monument gets government support

On May 9, the coalition agreed to support the proposal to suspend the agreement between Latvia and Russia about the maintenance of Soviet memorial structures, government representatives said at a briefing. Thus, the legal barriers to the dismantling of the monument at Uzvaras park would be removed.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, asked about potential security risks and public discontent if the monument was dismantled, said the situation has changed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, both in Latvia and around the world. He said that public opinion polls increasingly show that the public understands Russia's actions better and condemns them.

"The vast majority of the public believes that such monuments have no place in society. Let us get rid of the remnants of occupation step by step. The process is moving forward. There is no question if, but how and when. Step by step we will rid ourselves of these occupation remnants,” the Prime Minister said.

Raivis Dzintars, leader of National Alliance, said that the Saeima could already on Thursday view the intention of suspending the section of the agreement between Latvia and Russia, which governs the maintenance of memorial structures and mass burial sites.

According to Dzintars, this will give municipalities, including Rīga, significant opportunities to act on sites that “many call symbols of occupation”. If “municipalities lack the courage” to make decisions, he said it was possible to involve the Saeima's decisions additionally.

Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits also drew attention to the role of municipalities in the elimination of Soviet occupation monuments: “It is important that not only at Saeima level, but also at municipal level, there is awareness of the removal of such occupation monuments from public spaces.”

 

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