Latvia lodged an official protest after Vladimir Putin accused the Baltic states of Nazi glorification.
The Latvian Foreign Ministry expressed its “bewilderment” to Moscow after the Russian president’s speech during a meeting last week with representatives of the European Jewish Congress in Moscow.
During the meeting Putin said that “some Eastern European countries deny the Holocaust, and Latvia and Estonia, in particular, openly glorify Nazis.”
Latvian Minister of Education Tynis Lukas advised his country “not to pay attention to Putin’s words.” The minister added that in Russia “there are more Nazi supporters than the entire Latvian or Estonian population.”
In Latvia and Estonia, former Waffen SS Legion members get together annually. Estonian authorities removed a Soviet-era “Bronze Soldier” memorial in the country’s capital this year that sparkled a crisis between Russia and Estonia.