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Poland should carefully consider monument bill - Russian MP

14:34 07/05/2007
MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti) - Poland should take a weighted and civilized approach to a new draft law, which examines the removal of memorials dedicated to WWII liberators, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday.

The bill, drafted by the Polish Ministry of Culture, could allow the dismantlement and removal of monuments in Poland dedicated to foreign powers. It will be submitted to the country's parliament Monday.

"Under other circumstances, the bill before Polish lawmakers, could be considered harmless as no state should allow monuments that glorify defeat at the hands of another country," Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, said.

But he said the memorials, which may be subject to the draft law "could be monuments symbolizing not just defeat, but the common victory of Poland, the Soviet people and those of the anti-Hitler coalition over the common enemy, namely the Nazis."

Kosachyov added he hoped that Polish lawmakers would find the courage to reject the bill and in future would discuss any concerns or issues with those countries, who have links to the monuments.

Kosachyov's words of caution come shortly after April 27, when Estonian authorities removed a memorial commemorating Soviet soldiers, who fought against Nazi Germany during WWII, from central Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, to the city's outskirts.

The controversial relocation sparked protests among members of Estonia's Russian community in Tallinn, where one Russian national was killed and more than a hundred injured in clashes with police. The move also angered officials in Moscow, who described it as an act of blasphemy.

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