In the end, though, I accepted President Putin’s invitation, because I believe that the Allied victory over Nazi Germany should be seen as a victory of democratic values over totalitarianism and tyranny. These values form the very basis of our common social contract and lie at the foundations of our civil societies. We the democratic nations of the world value respect for human life and dignity. We value compassion for the suffering of others, tolerance of differences and diversity, and freedom of choice and action, so long as it does not result in harm to anybody else. We value the rule of law as a basis for justice.
For decades after the war, Europe’s former captive nations, including Latvia and Russia, were robbed of the opportunity to flourish and to prosper in the framework of these values. And it is on these core values that the perspectives of our long-term partnership with Russia will depend. That is why all democratic nations must urge Russia to condemn the crimes committed during the Soviet era in the name of communism. Russia must face up and come to honest terms with its history, just as Germany did after the end of World War II, and just as my own country is doing today.
Ms Vike-Freiberga’s stance is right, morally and politically.