Justice Ministry to propose dismantling 'Victory monument'

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The Ministry of Justice will submit an informational report to the government next week, including a proposal to dismantle the monument in Victory Park, the Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns said April 14.

The Ministry of Justice stated that the monument could be dismantled if it appeared that the Russian side did not properly take care of Latvia's monuments and memorials in Siberia, as there is an agreement on both sides to maintain and preserve monuments. Bordāns said that if one party failed to comply with the agreement, it means that the Latvian party, which maintains more than 100 different monuments and memorials dedicated to the Soviet army, could also refuse to keep the monument in Victory Park.

The second possible reason: the monument symbolizes a country that is currently attacking Ukraine, including civilians.

Another proposal is to move the monument to another location.

Justice Minister's Adviser Andris Vītols told Latvian Radio on April 14 that the monument was often used not for memorial purposes but rather to glorify the Soviet occupation.

“It is important to be aware of this because it is a legal argument, it is in contradiction with the fundamental values of democracy, with international treaties, and with the existence of the state of Latvia,” said Vītols.

He stressed that the monument was not acceptable to the majority of Latvia's population and that there was a split in Latvian society. Vītols explained that Latvian society has not only rights but also obligations to act so that the existence of the monument does not endanger Latvia's further development.

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