Latvia: Soviet Union’s deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 was genocide

The foreign affairs commission of Latvia’s parliament, the Saeima, has given its support to a report by the Foreign Ministry which considers the Soviet Union’s deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 a genocide, TV-net reports.

In addition, the commission has ratified a draft statement by Janis Dombrava, a member of the right-wing National Alliance, that “the USSR in the 20th century deliberately carried out a genocide against all the peoples and ethnic groups residing in the occupied territories”. The only commission member to vote against the document was Nikolai Kabanov from the Social Democratic Party “Harmony”.

The Saeima will vote on the resolution in a plenary session on 16 May.

Latvian Parliamentary Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica said during a discussion of the document that the Crimean Tatars are currently being subjected to harsh repression that frequently borders on human rights violations.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and we are especially concerned by the Russian authorities’ direct oppression of the Crimean Tatars. Unfortunately, the situation in Crimea is only deteriorating. There needs to be international condemnation,” she said.

In 2015, the governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia signed a declaration demanding compensation for the damage done to them under the Soviet Union. The declaration states that, during the Soviet period, the Baltic states were exploited for the political and economic goals of the occupation regime, which caused them severe demographic and socioeconomic losses. Latvia later assessed the damage under the Soviet occupation at €185 billion and the demographic losses and environmental damage at several tens of billions of euros.

The Latvian and Estonian justice ministries later announced their intention to demand compensation from Russia for the Soviet occupation. The joint statement was published on the Estonian Justice Ministry website.

  Latvia, Crimea, Crimean Tartars, Europe, Soviet Union