LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The three Baltic nations on Thursday demanded that major Stalinist atrocities should be included in plans for a European Union law to make incitement of racist violence and Holocaust denial a crime.
Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia demanded that a meeting of EU justice and interior ministers agree to make it illegal for people to publicly condone, deny or trivialize crimes against humanity committed under the Soviet regime led by Joseph Stalin.
“Stalinism and Nazism should be treated equally,” said Jurgita Apanaviciute, a spokeswoman for Lithuania’s delegation to the EU.
The EU ministers were close to agreeing on the contentious anti-racist package after six years of negotiations on how to combat racism and hate crimes. But other EU nations were loathe to agree to the demand by the Baltic states because they do not legally recognize crimes committed under Stalin as hate crimes or equate them with the genocide perpetrated under the Nazis in Germany during World War II.