The US company announced the withdrawal of products featuring the symbols of Soviet totalitarianism. In spite of being banned in a number of EU countries, they entered the European market.
It was Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia that demanded to remove the products with forbidden symbols from the countries’ stores.
“Lithuania’s Ambassador in the USA received a response from Walmart representatives. They assured us that the goods would be withdrawn in the near future,” news agency BNS quotes Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė.
It is not the first time a big Western company’s offer appalled the Baltic states. In May, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry slammed Adidas’ new collection including red dresses and T-shirts with the inscription USSR and the sickle and hammer – the emblem of the Soviet Union.
“Being sick with ‘imperial nostalgia’ – it still occurs. A bit surprising from the famous Adidas, though,” the ministry said in a statement.
The presence of Soviet symbolism in public space is both painful and threatening to the Baltic state. Local Russian minority’s pro-Soviet sentiment is often used by separatist movements and recruiters of the Russian special services.