Business & Lobbying

Walmart to halt sales of shirts featuring Soviet imagery

Lithuanian officials said Tuesday Walmart will no longer sell clothing featuring Soviet Union logos after Baltic countries asked the retail giant to remove USSR-emblazoned apparel.

The Associated Press reported that Lithuania's foreign ministry "received a letter from Walmart this week confirming that these items would be removed from sales." A spokeswoman for the ministry added that the country intends to ask Amazon.com take down apparel featuring Soviet symbols as well.

Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Lawmakers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania sent a letter to Walmart executives earlier this month asking them to "demonstrate their corporate responsibility" and stop the sale of items with Soviet imagery.

The officials argued that carrying the items meant Walmart was participating in "promotion, among its customers worldwide, of totalitarianism, human rights abuse and suppression of freedom and democracy, the values that allowed such corporations as Walmart to grow and prosper."

"Horrific crimes were done under the Soviet symbols of a sickle and hammer. The promotion of such symbols resonates with a big pain for many centuries," Lithuania's ambassador to the U.S., Rolandas Krisciunas, wrote in a separate letter.

All three countries were annexed by Moscow in 1940, and were part of the Soviet Union until its collapse. The countries were occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944.

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