Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question by Rossiya Segodnya News Agency regarding the adoption by the European Parliament of resolution on the rise in neo-fascist violence in Europe
Question: On 25 October 2018 the European Parliament adopted resolution on the rise in neo-fascist violence in Europe. How could you comment on this document?
Answer: Russian Foreign Ministry has always tried to refrain from commenting on the European Parliament’s (EP) activities. However, we consider it possible to make an exception for this particular case as adopting this resolution shows that the European Union finally starts to realise that the threat of reviving Nazism is real and cannot silence this problem any longer.
We note a tough tone of the document. It mentions specific acts of fascist violence as well as hate, racist and xenophobic crimes in Europe, including annual gatherings in Riga honouring “Waffen-SS” veterans and thuggish behaviour of Ukrainian nationalists. Members of the European Parliament recognise that fascism, racism and xenophobia are becoming a norm in the EU. Meanwhile, neo-Nazi organisations fell particularly at ease in some of its member states. Therefore, member states are called on to strongly condemn and sanction hate crime and hate speech, including in actions and statements by politicians and public officials at all levels and on all types of media. Besides, it is stressed that neo-fascists in order to promote ideas of violence abuse “democratic instruments” often appealing to the principle of freedom of speech; whereas the right to freedom of speech is not absolute. The resolution emphasises that an awareness of history, especially by the young, and importance of “a common culture of remembrance” that unequivocally rejects the fascist crimes constitute one of the key factors for preventing hate crimes. In this context the resolution specifically calls on EU member states to counter any forms of Holocaust denial, trivialising and diminishing crimes committed by Nazi and their accomplices.
We have been drawing attention of the Europeans and the international community in general to this dangerous trend for quite a while. UN General Assembly Resolution on ‘Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance’, initiated by Russia and, by the way, mentioned in the preamble of the EP resolution, forms the quintessence of this work.
We hope that, following members of the European Parliament, all EU member states will realise the threat of reviving Nazism and counter its manifestations by all means.