Russia: May 8th speech «blasphemous»

10-anniversary of the liberation of Norway communism10-anniversary of the liberation of Norway. Archive Photo : NTB / Scanpix

Russia calls Kallmyr’s speech on May 8th as «blasphemous»

Norwegian Minister of Justice, Jøran Kallmyr (Progress Party), speaks of freedom against socialism on the Liberation Day. the Russian embassy responds to the statement and calls it «blasphemous».

It is during a medal ceremony for veterans at Camp Jørstadmoen that Kallmyr speaks about freedom from communism and socialism.

“NATO was created in the shadow of the dawning threat of the communist regime in the east. The Cold War was marked by ideological differences; Democracy against dictatorship; Freedom against communism and socialism. Furthermore, the threat posed by the atomic bomb. For Norway, it was extraordinary near, as we had the Russian bear as our next door neighbour,” Kallmyr speaks.

the speech triggers a reaction from several on the left of Norwegian politics, including the press attaché at the Russian Embassy in Oslo.


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“We believe such statements are blasphemous. Mr Kallmyr finds no words of gratitude to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Europe and Norway from Nazism, distorts the role of the Soviet Union, violates the memory of those who fought against fascism – regardless of their political affiliation,” writes press attaché at the Russian Embassy in Oslo, Timur Chekanov in an email sent to Dagbladet and other recipients early on Saturday.

Chekanov believes Kallmyr’s statements are particularly sensitive ahead of the marking of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of East Finnmark on October 5th, 2019.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) sees no reason to complain and does not understand Russia’s choice of words.

“I think the word blasphemous was a strange word to use regarding this. Almost all the Cabinet ministers held speeches similar to this one. In the speech he held, there was a clear emphasis and gratitude for the help that the Soviet Union provided Norway during World War II,” she tells Dagbladet.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, is scheduled to attend the ceremony in Kirkenes in October, along with HM King Harald and Prime Minister Solberg. The Norwegian Prime Minister does not fear for wither the marking or the relationship with Russia as a result of this.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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