Nil Ushakov believes that Russians in the Baltics should reach out and say: “You are ours, you are ours,” and not take out anger on them
In the Baltics, some decisions are made in order to “take revenge on the local Russians in small ways,” and not for the sake of supporting Ukraine, former mayor of Riga, MEP Nil Ushakov told the Estonian version of Delfi.
“In Latvia, and even in Estonia, a lot is being done not to help Ukraine, but for other reasons, trying to take revenge on the local Russians for what the Kremlin is doing. This is stupid,— Ushakov said. But in the current situation, when “a rupture occurs”, it will be right to “stretch out a hand to the Russians, emphasize that you are ours, you are yours.”
“In these circumstances, break someone over the knee, take out anger at local Russians— it won't help anyone,— said Ushakov.
In this regard, he recalled the law adopted in Latvia, according to which May 9 this year is declared the Day of Remembrance of civilians and Ukrainian servicemen who died in hostilities in Ukraine. “You need to understand that those people who celebrate May 9 as Victory Day over Nazism, if they go to the monument, this does not mean that they support the Kremlin, Putin,” — he explained. A person can support Ukraine and oppose Russia, but “have a desire to lay flowers on May 9 where he sees fit.”
The MEP also made a reservation that in Estonia the attitude towards the Russian-speaking minority is “more rational”.
Ushakov served as mayor of Riga from 2009 to 2019, and then became a member of the European Parliament. He repeatedly spoke in support of the Russian-speaking population of Latvia. In particular, in 2018 he called the law on the transfer of schools of national minorities into the Latvian language a mistake. He was fined €140 for using Russian and English on social media as a representative of the authorities.
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After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Russian government agencies began to report attacks on Russians abroad. In particular, the Presidential Human Rights Council argued that in the EU, Russians are subjected to “direct acts of humiliation and violence for the mere fact that they are Russians or citizens of Russia.”
Some representatives of the authorities of the EU countries called their citizens to refrain from attacking the Russians. “Anyone who is hostile to Belarusians or Russians in Germany attacks not only our fellow citizens, but also the basic principles of our coexistence,” — noted German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry also urged “to take care of Russians in our society and to oppose incitement to hatred.”
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