RIGA, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - The parliament of Latvia voted to remove a bill that bans both Soviet and Nazi symbols from the list of urgent draft laws, the parliament’s press service said on Thursday.
Last week, Latvian lawmakers approved in the first reading a draft law that would forbid the public display of both Soviet and Nazi symbols, also giving the bill a status of an urgent one, meaning to pass it in two instead of three readings.
The law was expected to be passed before May 9, when Russians commemorate the end of World War II.
Latvia’s official position is that it was occupied by the USSR from 1940 through 1991. Russia, as a successor to the USSR, does not recognize the occupation.
Russia has long been at odds with the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, as well as Poland, over what it sees as attempts to rewrite the history of World War II and diminish the Soviet role in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
While Russia maintains that the Red Army liberated the Baltic States from German invaders, many residents of the republics put the two occupations on a par, citing mass Stalin-era deportations and murders of the local population by Soviet secret police.
Latvia is still home to a significant proportion of Russians, estimated at about a quarter of the population. Many of them celebrate Victory Day on May 9.
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