Russian official dismisses Baltic compensation claims for Soviet occupation

Russia is also a victim of a regime, said Russian presidential Human Rights Council

The Baltic states' intention to demand compensation from Russia for damage caused to them by the 'Soviet occupation' has no legal prospects, as Russia is also a victim of a totalitarian regime, says Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council.

"It seems to me that this initiative, which has existed for a long time, has no international legal prospects," Fedotov told Interfax on Nov. 5.

"But what is more important to me is the moral evaluation of this initiative. Russia is a victim of a totalitarian regime rather than a party guilty of it. Demanding compensation from Russia for crimes caused by a totalitarian regime is the same as if former inmates of Auschwitz would demand compensation from former inmates of Buchenwald," he said.

The Russian government had endorsed a state policy concept on commemorating victims of political reprisals in August 2015, Fedotov said.

"I am calling on Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian human rights activists to continue the common work on commemorating the victims of political reprisals. This is our common tragedy, our common pain, and we should scrupulously seek to restore this tragic part of our common history together," he said.

Riga hosted an international conference on Nov. 5, during which the justice ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed a joint declaration demanding that the damage caused by the so-called Soviet occupation be calculated and compensated for.

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