MOSCOW - The European Union has failed in the struggle against "dangerous neo-Nazi tendencies" in the Baltic countries, the president of the European Jewish Congress said Oct. 11 in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
The president of the congress, Russian businessman Moshe Kantor, accused Estonia and Latvia of belittling the role of the Soviet Red Army in the "liberation" of Eastern Europe from Nazi forces. Kantor added that refusing to acknowledge the achievements of the Red Army was comparable to denying the Holocaust 's a suggestion that many Jews are likely to find as distasteful as many Balts.
"The European Union does not pay the necessary attention to things taking place in Latvia and Estonia because of certain opportunistic, political reasons," Kantor said.
The Paris-based European Jewish Congress is an umbrella organization of 42 Jewish organizations, which claims to represent an estimated 2.5 million European Jews.
Kantor's comments echo those of Russian President Vladimir Putin the previous day.
"Certain facts that we are coming across in certain East European countries are arousing frank surprise and lack of understanding," Putin said.
"We know that in several European countries laws prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, while the activities of Latvian and Estonian authorities are openly encouraging the glorification of Nazis and their collaborators. And such facts remain unnoticed by the European Union."
Contrary to the implications of his speech, Holocaust denial is not specifically outlawed Russia as it is in Germany and Lithuania, for example.