Lithuania irked by 'Miss USSR' pageant in Britain

1st March 2013, Comments 0 comments

Lithuania on Friday urged the organisers of Britain's "Miss USSR" beauty pageant to remove the Baltic state's name from the event seeking the most beautiful woman from an ex-Soviet Union republic living in Britain.

The embassy in London accused the organisers of misinterpreting the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, stressing that Britain was among western powers that "never accepted the forced incorporation of Lithuania in the Soviet Union".

"Inviting Lithuanian girls to participate in the beauty pageant named after the Soviet Union is an anathema," the embassy said in a statement on its website.

It also requested the organiser -- the private Julia Boo Parties company -- remove Lithuania from all texts linked to the competition, including on its website

"The embassy understands that the beauty competition was initiated to facilitate mutual understanding, respect and appreciation of multiculturalism. It is sad to note that the organisers gave an inappropriate political and historical context to this beauty contest," it said.

Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1940 under Moscow's secret pact with Nazi Germany, and the Soviets killed and deported thousands of its citizens.

Germany then drove out the Red Army when it invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Over the following three years, the Nazis and local collaborators killed 95 percent of Lithuania's 220,000-strong Jewish community.

The Soviets returned in 1944, going on to deport more than 275,000 Lithuanians, mostly to Siberia. Another 21,000 died in an anti-Soviet insurgency.

The Baltic state of three million people broke from the Soviet Union in 1990 and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

© 2013 AFP

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