Moscow – Russia on Friday contested the position of a recently adopted European Union’s (EU) resolution that the 1939 non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union “paved the way for the outbreak of World War II.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced the European Parliament resolution as politicized revisionism, noting that the text did not mention Western powers’ 1938 Munich Agreement enabling Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia.
“The European Parliament marked yet another outrageous attempt to equate Nazi Germany – the aggressor country – and the Soviet Union, whose peoples, at the cost of huge sacrifices, liberated Europe from fascism,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Nazi-Soviet pact is rarely discussed in today’s Russia, whereas the Allied – and particularly Soviet – victory over Nazi Germany, ending the war in Europe, remains a much celebrated source of national pride.
The EU resolution, adopted on Thursday, said the pact set out to divide Europe “between the two totalitarian regimes” of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The pact is commonly known for the diplomats who signed it in Moscow as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Historians say that Soviet leader Josef Stalin used the pact as an opportunity to annex territories that, before the 1917 communist revolution, had belonged to the Russian empire. As Nazi Germany expanded into western Poland, the Soviet Union occupied Baltic territories and eastern Poland.
Russia has preserved the Soviet position that the pact was a necessary evil, an attempt to prevent the Nazi offensive into the Soviet Union – which nevertheless came two years after the signing, when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941.