MEPs against Putin: Poland – a victim, not a criminal

Евродепутаты против Путина: Польша - жертва, а не преступник

MEPs condemned the statements of the President of the Russian Federation on Poland and world war II. During the debate in Strasbourg they said that Putin’s attempts to “rewrite history” is unacceptable.

MEPs condemned naganiansonline Russian President Vladimir Putin about the role of Poland in the initial phase of the Second world war. In the debate which took place in Strasbourg on Wednesday, 15 January, parliamentarians accused Putin of “trying to rewrite history”. They urged Europe to counter “Russian propaganda” and not allowed to sow discord in the relations between the European countries.

The discussion, entitled “the Distortion of European history and memory of the Second world war” was opened by the German parliamentarian Manfred Weber (Manfred Weber), the head of the faction of the European people’s party in the European Parliament and one of the initiators of the debate. He began by reminding colleagues about the guilt of Nazi Germany in the outbreak of the Second world war, calling it “the most terrible crime in history.”

“Every German politician needs to take responsibility for the actions of our country. But every politician in Europe and beyond also carries a responsibility to not play with history. We can’t accept Putin’s attempt to rewrite history,” said Weber.

According to MEPs, the Russian President has distorted historical facts, believing that the responsibility for the outbreak of the Second world war partly rests on Poland. They stressed that the war was the result of signing the non-aggression Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, known as the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact and the secret protocols, according to which Hitler’s troops and the USSR invaded Poland.

What Putin said about Poland and world war II

The parliamentarians expressed solidarity with Poland, noting that it is impermissible to put the country, which has suffered from Nazism, as the culprit of the crime. They were joined by Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera jourova. She stated that the European Commission unequivocally rejects any false declarations, which distort the history of the Second world war. “The European Commission will not tolerate these attacks on Poland and expresses its full solidarity with Poland and its people”, – said Yurov.

The reason for the debate was the Russian President’s statements about the Second world war and the role of Poland. Answering a journalist’s question during a press conference on November 19, Putin said that shortly before the war Poland was part of Nazi Germany, and in 1938 participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia. This is a statement he made in response to a request for comment adopted in September 2019 the European Parliament resolution condemning Stalinism, Nazism and other totalitarian regimes. The document, among other things, stated that the signing of the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact and secret protocols to it, “ravaged Europe between the two totalitarian regimes” has created preconditions for the outbreak of the Second world war.

According to Putin, the Soviet Union was the last country in Europe, signed with Nazi Germany non-aggression Pact. As Soviet troops entered Poland “after the Polish government lost control over its armed forces and what is happening on the territory” of the country.

A few days later, Putin made another statement that caused sharp condemnation in Poland. At the enlarged meeting of the Collegium of the defense Ministry, he called Jozef Lipski, Ambassador of Poland to Nazi Germany in the late 1930-ies, a “bastard” and “anti-Semitic pig”. According to the Russian President, Lipsky supported the idea of Adolf Hitler to send the Jews to Africa.

Shifting historical guilt is dangerous for Europe?

Speaking in the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius, a part of the faction of the European people’s party, said very surprised “by Putin’s speeches, his view of the real story in the style of Soviet propaganda and the strange attempts to convince you that Poland itself is to blame for the fact that Hitler and Stalin divided and occupied”.

Former Polish foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, a part of the same faction, also has expressed bewilderment in connection with the words of the Russian President. He noted that never before, Putin is nothing like this mentioned. “Hitler also thought that Poland started the war. And I would like to ask President Putin: he really wants to speak in one voice with Hitler?” – said Sikorski.

This shifting historical guilt is dangerous for Europe, because it can be a “first step in determining your goals for something more than just rhetorical aggression”, said the German Reinhard Butikofer (Reinhard B?tikofer) from the faction of the Green party “European free Alliance”. “Europe should be careful,” the politician said.