The resolution was approved by the majority of the UN member countries. However, several European countries abstained from voting, and the US, Canada and the Marshall Islands voted against the resolution. Russia finds the position of these countries rather strange.
The resolution, in particular, expresses concern that today, nationalist sentiments are increasing in some parts of the world. Cases of vandalism against monuments to fighters against Nazism are becoming more frequent. Moreover, the authorities of three former Soviet states – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – quite often officially back marches of those who were collaborators of German Nazis during WWII and their younger supporters.
“To a large extent, nationalist sentiments in these three states are warmed up by social problems there,” Russian MP Alexander Baybakov says. “But this, of course, by no means justifies these sentiments.”
“Unfortunately, it would be naïve to hope that once, no person in the world will have nationalist sentiments,” the Russian MP continues. “In some countries, separatist processes are going on, and separatist sentiments are often accompanied with nationalistic ones. In some, people are just becoming more aggressive because of social problems or some other reason. But in every country, it should be the authorities’ duty to stop manifestations of nationalism. This shouldn’t include only prosecuting manifestations of nationalism, but also propagating the ideology of tolerance. Nationalistic ideology should by no means prevail in any society.”
Now, why did some countries abstain from voting for a resolution which condemns Nazism, and some even voted against it?
A representative of Norway says that allegedly, the notorious Andres Breivik committed his crime because he was deprived of the possibility to express his extremist ideas freely. Representatives of the US explain their choice to vote against the resolution by similar considerations. They say that it would be wrong and useless to fight against manifestation of nationalism by prohibitive measures.
“I wouldn’t call these arguments convincing,” the director of the Russian foundation “Historic Memory” Alexander Dyukov says.
“US politicians say that a ban on expressing nationalistic sentiments would infringe freedom of speech. But I believe that the concept of freedom of speech should not include free expression of nationalistic sentiments, to say nothing of marches of SS veterans and other things like that.”
In fact, the UN adopts similar resolutions every year since 2006 – and every year, some countries refuse to support these resolutions. One of the countries that, as a rule, do not support them, is Ukraine. A statement recently released by Russia’s permanent mission in the UN says that Russia regrets that Ukraine does not condemn attempts to present Nazi collaborators as heroes.