VILNIUS - Lithuania's first post-independence leader Vytautas Landsbergis on Thursday called on the US e-commerce giant Amazon to stop selling Soviet-themed products.
Landsbergis posted his open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Facebook on the eve of the 80th anniversary of a Nazi-Soviet pact that paved the way for the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic countries.
"Your creation Amazon goes distributing some consumer goods with symbols of the Communist tyranny USSR -- a collaborator in war crimes ant those of genocide with Hitlerits. Concretely, these are 'sickle and hammer', depicted on sofa-cushions and children's T-shirts," he said in the letter.
"I suppose, you personally could be unaware of such business, thus, please, note my appeal and take measures."
"The day August 23, known as the beginning of the murderous WWII because of the criminal Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939, 80 years ago, would be a most appropriate moment to stop such indirect 'education'."
"While cruelty is growing across our planet, nobody should stay indifferent even to 'funny' symbols."
Signed on August 23, 1939, the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and secret protocols divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence and led to decades of Soviet occupation.
Baltic politicians have repeatedly called on global companies not to sell Soviet-themes products, saying that such goods offend the victims of the Soviet terror.
Following the Soviet occupation of Lithuania during World War II, more than a quarter of a million people were sent to forced-labor camps or deported. Over 20,000 partisans and their supporters died in armed resistance to the Soviet rule after the war.