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Russian ambassador defends controversial film

Feb 01, 2006
By TBT staff

RIGA - Russian Ambassador to Latvia Viktor Kalyuzhny said the controversial Russian documentary "The Baltic Nazism" should not be politicized, and urged Latvia to take a philosophical approach to its contents.

Kalyuzhny addressed Parliament's foreign committee members on Wednesday, confirming that the film would no longer be shown in Russia. "It was run only once and won't be shown anymore," said the ambassador, adding that there was no interest in the film in Russia.

A member of the ruling Greens and Farmers' Union, who had earlier complained about the documentary, asked why the film had not been banned in Russia. Kalyuzhny retorted: "You call yourselves a democratic country, yet you want to ban a film."

The Russian film company Third Rome produced the documentary, in which Russian historians and other "experts" discuss Latvia joining the Soviet Union voluntarily and stress the Baltic state's roll in the WWII genocide against the Jews.

U.S. citizens can currently travel to Lithuania without visas. The possibility of visa-free trips for Lithuanians to the U.S., however, is linked with the issuance of new documents, which are better protected against forgery and visiting violations.

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