RIGA - The celebrations that took place on May 9 in Pardaugava which were supported by irresponsible politicians, have been celebrations of Latvia's occupation, said Latvian President Egils Levits at the discussion "Telling history: research, policies, communication".
He said that the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been cementing the regime's imperial narrative around the victory of World War II, focusing on the empire's historical rights, military greatness and praising of conquers. The same imperial narrative is used for the war in Ukraine, denying Ukraine's rights for existence.
Levits said that such policies and narratives are not innocent, they play a significant political and historical role. May 9 is the loud celebration of the Russian imperial narrative.
"Those are festivities, glorifying the Russian empire, and they have not place in a democratic Latvia. Therefore, I am happy that the Saeima has finally recognized it. We see that this imperial propaganda has created a parallel world in which a large part of Russian residents and also a part of Latvian residents believe. This is the last time for these people, at least in Latvia, to wage up as there is no compromise possible on the matter," the president said.
"We have to do everything possible to achieve that we as a democratic country are on the right side of justice. Latvia may not have such events that justify or praise the regimes or ideologies that commit crimes against peace, humanity. The law enforcement should prevent every such attempt, including on May 9. This is necessary out of respect to the victims of the aggression and war," said Levits.
He underscored that Latvia remembers the victims of World War II on May along the rest of Europe.