RIGA - Last weekend, the local branch of Daugavas Vanagi patriotic organisation dismantled a monument to wartime sailors. Gunars Grinbers, the chairman of the Limbazi branch, stated that the archival details indicated that sailors had been marauding in the town and had killed seven innocent civilians.
The monument in question was built in Limbazi during the Soviet rule to commemorate Soviet sailors killed during World War Two. In the summer of 1941 those sailors killed several residents of Limbazi and were then killed in battles with local partisans.
The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that the dismantling of the monument was unacceptable and delivered a diplomatic note to Latvia.
"We find dismantling the monument to Soviet sailors unacceptable and contradictory to bilateral agreements,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told the press on Wednesday.
Zakharova was referring to a 1994 agreement between Latvia and Russia about social protection of the retired Russian military personnel and family members residing in Latvia. This also included a requirement to preserve and maintain memorials and burial sites.
Zakharova said that the Russian embassy in Riga had handed a note to the Latvian Foreign Ministry over dismantling of the monument to Soviet soldiers in Limbazi but so far there had been no reply from Latvia.
The monument was in extremely bad condition and the Limbazi local government approved its dismantling. The patriotic organisation received a 8,000-euro subsidy from the Latvian budget for dismantling of the monument and tidying up the neighbourhood. Currently, the Latvian Foreign Ministry is not commenting on the dismantling of the monument.
The ministry is taking a closer look at the situation and is not commenting until it has established all details, the Latvian Foreign Ministry’s Media Centre said.
The monument to Soviet sailors was built in Limbazi during Soviet rule to commemorate Soviet sailors killed during World War Two.