Russia accuses Lithuania of ambivalent policy on 'Forest Brothers'

09:51, May 21, 2010      

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Moscow is annoyed with the "ambivalent" policy of Lithuanian leaders concerning guerilla squads that fought against Russia during World War II, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko spoke after Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite participated in the awarding ceremony of the so-called "Forest Brothers," guerilla squads that fought against Soviet establishments during and after the World War II in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Soviet and Russian historians describe the squads as "fascists" and "collaborators", but the official position of the three Baltic countries was that the "Forest Brothers" were a movement for national liberation.

"Forest Brothers" fought against Soviet troops since 1940, when three Baltic republics were incorporated into the Soviet Union. The squads disbanded in the mid-1950s.

After the three republics re-established their independence in the early 1990s, the official historiography there started to describe the members of clandestine ant-Soviet groups as "fighters for national independence."

The U-turn irritated both official Moscow and the local Russian-speaking population. In Estonia, attempts by authorities to dismantle a monument erected in memory of the war-time Soviet soldiers even caused civil unrest in the country's capital Tallinn.

"Lithuania should understand that one can't cooperate with Russia by manipulating the historical memory for the sake of internal political interests," Nesterenko told a press briefing. "In these circumstances this is, likely, too early to speak about a new level of Russian-Lithuanian relations."

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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