MOSCOW, July 8 (UPI) -- A Russian lawmaker criticized Estonian leaders Monday for encouraging neo-Nazism, which he said "is an everyday phenomenon in Estonia."
Federation Council member Mikhail Margelov said Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu's praise for Estonian fighters who opposed Soviet Russia's 50-year control of the Baltic nation hearkened back to World War II, when some Estonians took up arms with the German Nazi SS against Russian troops.
"Neo-Nazism is an everyday phenomenon in Estonia. And it is supported by particular elements in power that even display open sympathy for the Nazis," Margelov said.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Russian leaders have appealed to the European Union, which counts Estonia as a member, to address what Russia believes is Nazi sympathizers.
Tension has arisen before when leaders in the three Baltic nations, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have made official reference to Soviet rule, which Baltic leaders regard as an illegal occupation. Russian leaders maintain their control was lawful.