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UK, Canada Not Allowed WW2 Vets to Receive Russian Medals

UK, Canada Not Allowed WW2 Vets to Receive Russian Medals 05.05.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: runivers.ru
Authorities of Great Britain and Canada did not allow Russia to reward their citizens participated in the Arctic Convoys during the Russia's Great Patriotic War (World War II), said a spokesman for Russian foreign ministry Alexander Lukashevich.

On the threshold of the Victory Day, Russian president awarded Ushakov Medals to a large group of foreign veterans fr om Australia, New Zealand, and the US displayed personal valor and bravery during the Arctic Convoys. However, none of 1,200 British and about 70 Canadian veterans was awarded.

Commenting this situation, Lukashevich pointed out that "in accordance with British and Canadian legislation, citizens of these countries can be awarded foreign medals only by approbation of official authorities".

"Unfortunately, despite our numerous requests London did not accord such permission referring to active legislation which strictly lim its award distribution to British citizens rendered services to foreign state earlier than 5 year ago", the foreign ministry's website cites the diplomat.

Lukashevich added that "so far, Canadian government has not given permission to reward Russian medals to its citizens participated in Arctic Convoys either".

"For our part, we would like to emphasize that Russia remembers merits and bravery of all participants of Arctic Convoys, they are and will be honored as brothers in arms. We hope that London and Ottawa will finally support our initiative and let Russia distinguish courage and valor of their veterans", stressed the diplomat.

Arctic Convoys were carried out during the World War II from Great Britain and the USA to northern Soviet ports of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. Totally, 78 convoys were escorted since Aug 1941 through May 1945 (except for periods July-Sept 1942 and March-Nov 1943). Under the lend-lease program, about 1,400 transport ships delivered critical warlike materials to the USSR. Great Britain lost 85 transport vessels and 16 warships (two cruisers, six destroyers, and eight other escort ships). Germany lost a number of ships including one battleship, three destroyers, at least 30 submarines, and considerable quantity of aircraft.

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