European Union (EU)
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a RIA Novosti question regarding the adoption of the European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe
Question: On September 19, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe. Can you comment on this document?
Maria Zakharova: The Foreign Ministry of Russia refrains from commenting on the operations of the European Parliament. However, we have to make an exception in this particular case because it concerns a new round of gross historical distortions.
This resolution is nothing less than a package of revisionist claims. The European Parliament has made yet another outrageous attempt to place an equal sign between Nazi Germany, an aggressor country, and the Soviet Union, whose peoples paid an excessively high price for the liberation of Europe from fascism.
The European Parliament’s claim that WWII began following the signing of the Treaty of Non-Aggression between the Soviet Union and Germany on August 23, 1939, has no connection to historical facts. At the same time, the resolution does not mention the Western countries’ policy of appeasing the aggressor in a bid to redirect Hitler’s plans of invasion from the West to the East, or the culmination of these operations, the Munich Betrayal of 1938. Its signatories threw a sovereign state, Czechoslovakia, to the Nazi wolves. This selective historical memory is shockingly shameless when it comes to deliberations about the “unprecedented tragedy” of Poland, which, by the way, took part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany in 1934.
We would like to point out once again the dangers of the line for the politicisation of history and a revision of facts. While sidestepping historical facts that are unpleasant to them and interpreting a revised version of events at their own discretion, the European Parliament is severing the last connection to reality. The reality is that the memory of Nazi criminals is being rehabilitated, marches of Waffen SS veterans and their supporters are held, and neo-Nazi organisations feel free to do as they please in some European countries. This is a source of a very real threat to fundamental democratic principles and human rights.
Any attempts to formulate an EU domestic agenda by distorting historical truth will not help defeat intolerance in Europe. The manipulation of facts for self-serving purposes cannot be either a moral or a political guideline. On the contrary, it will likely undermine the belief of Europeans, above all young people, in European values about which Brussels likes to talk so much.
We consider the distortion of the past unacceptable. It is our earnest conviction that history must remain the purview of responsible professionals rather than politicians who use it for selfish reasons.