Duma outraged by Estonian parliament's statement equalizing Nazi and Soviet regimes

Difficulties might arise in inter-parliamentary relations between Russia and Estonia in connection with the statement made by the Estonian parliament which puts an equation mark between the Nazi and Soviet regimes.

Konstantin Kosachev, deputy head of the international committee of the Russian State Duma, first deputy head of the Fatherland-All Russia faction of the Lower House, declared that "unless the Estonians apologize, further contacts along parliamentary lines will become much more difficult." Kosachev expressed "utmost surprise and disappointment" over the statement made by the Estonian parliament, stressing that "such comparisons are insulting, while the intention of the Estonian deputies to demand that Russia pay out compensation for the 'occupation' is groundless, to say the least." "If we count up everything the Soviet Union has done for Estonia's economy, infra-structure and social sphere during the years of the so-called occupation, I don't think that Tallinn will ever be able to pay off its debts," pointed out the deputy.

Kosachev noted at the same time that Estonia "had its own communist party and if there is any dissatisfaction with some moral factors, it would be more logical to ask from their own communists." The parliamentary pointed out that this subject had earlier been discussed in Latvia and Lithuania, too.

"President of Lithuania Adamkus did not sign the law on compensation for the damage which was adopted by the Seimas, while the deputies of the Latvian parliament, who had prepared a similar bill, decided not to set it going," recalled Konstantin Kosachev.

The deputy expressed the opinion that the statement by the Estonian parliamentarians "is rather dangerous, as it was taken on the eve of municipal and parliamentary elections." Such demarches, said Kosachev, "do not help to improve bilateral relations between Russia and Estonia." The deputy called upon the Russian Foreign Ministry to react to that step. In his opinion these actions run counter to the agreements reached on the development of Russian-Estonian relations achieved at the meeting of the heads of the two governments in St.Petersburg on June 17.

The Estonian parliament's statement which draws an analogy between the Nazi and Soviet regimes, was adopted on June 18.

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