MOSCOW - Russia should collect the monuments to Soviet soldiers that are being taken down in the Baltic countries and place these monuments on the borders with these countries, Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's Federation Council upper house of parliament, said according to Interfax news agency.
"Of course, we must do everything we can to keep these monuments where they are now today, because this is what a large number of residents of these states want. It is also in line with all international treaties," Matviyenko said in an interview with Izvestia published on the newspaper's website.
"But if it comes to this absolute illegality and if a final decision is made to take down these monuments, I think that Russia should take them, but [we] should not bring them to Moscow or to other regions, but place them on the border," Matviyenko was quoted as saying.
Thus, she said, the Soviet Army monument from Riga should be installed on the border with Latvia, and the Bronze Soldier from Tallinn on the border with Estonia in the Leningrad region.
Such a step will allow "people who really treat [these monuments] as sacred to pay homage to them on May 9 and on other days by simply crossing the border," she said.
"Probably, such options should be looked into and considered. And we will certainly follow all developments," Matviyenko said when commenting on reports that decisions are being adopted in the Baltic countries to take down monuments to Soviet soldiers, according to Interfax.