The Council of Europe should not ignore attempts at glorification of Nazism and desecration of monuments to Soviet soldiers who died liberating Europe from Nazism, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday in a commentary on the beginning of Greece’s presidency in the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.
"We continue to insist that it is inadmissible to turn a blind eye on such disgraceful for contemporary Europe phenomena as non-citizenship, mass national and language discrimination," the ministry said. "We hope that attempts at glorifying Nazi collaborators and desecrating monuments to the liberators, and, generally, at revising the results of World War II will not be ignored by Strasbourg and Athens in the year of the 75th anniversary of Victory over Nazism. Let us not forget that the building of the Council of Europe rests on this foundation."
The ministry also drew attention to the fact that the year of Greece’s presidency marks the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights and stressed that Russia will continue to act as a guarantor of the implementation of the convention "which has become one of the pillar of European architecture built on the basis of international law rather than on the notorious rule-based order."
Russian diplomats recalled that the central topic of this presidency will be protection of people’s lives and public health during the pandemic and voiced support to the Greek colleagues’ plans to use the Council of Europe’s potential to resolve these tasks. The Russian foreign ministry called for consolidation of the experience of various countries in combating the disease and elaborating a constructive agenda in this sphere, TASS reports.
"It is secret to no one that Strasbourg has often focused on narrow problems topical only for small groups of population. The pandemic’s tragic lessons make us reconsider many things, shift the focus onto essential needs of most of the Europeans, first of all, their social and economic rights," the ministry noted. "The Council of Europe has the European Social Charter and the European Social Cohesion Platform. But in the policy of reducing the organization’s social dimension has come to the fore in the recent years. This policy has proved to be a mistake and we have repeatedly warned about that. Now it is time to make up for what has been lost."