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Russia Slams Estonia On Soviet Monument

Sergei Lavrov (file photo) (Council of Europe) January 16, 2007 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today it would be "blasphemous" to dismantle a monument to World War II Soviet soldiers in Estonia's capital, Tallinn.

"We think that this decision is blasphemous," Lavrov said. "We are convinced that it was prompted by considerations that have nothing to do with the need for drawing lessons from the past, or with building a united, common, Europe without dividing lines."

Estonia's parliament last week passed legislation that would allow the relocation of the monument and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said the move could begin this spring.

Estonia's Russian-speaking minority has strongly opposed it, and the Russian parliament has also denounced it.

(Interfax, ITAR-TASS)