The Latvian Saeima has approved, on its second reading, a draft law on awarding the status of participant in the Second World War, Delfi news agency reports.
As stated in the law’s commentary, the goal of this step is to recognize the merits of Latvian citizens who participated in this global conflict, regardless of who they fought against: Nazi Germany and its allies, or against the USSR.
Additionally, the law stipulates that Latvia does not bear legal responsibility for crimes committed by the occupation forces during its occupation, as well as that during the Second World War Latvia did not participate in the military operations as an independent state.
It will recognize those residents of the country who, as of June 17, 1940, were Latvian citizens or legally came here for permanent residence as participants in the Second World War.
The status of World War II participant will be denied to representatives of the National Socialist Party of Nazi Germany, its paramilitary bodies, the secret police, and security services.
The same applies to persons convicted of crimes against humanity, as well as to KGB officers of the USSR and the LSSR, with the exception of those who worked in administrative-, planning-, and finance-related positions during the Soviet era.
Participants in the Second World War will be issued a standard form certificate and a commemorative badge. Their self-determined government has the right to decide on the provision of social guarantees to participants in the Second World War and, within its budget, to provide them with assistance, incentives to pay municipal fees, or services.
The Latvian Saeima still has to consider this bill in a final reading.