RIA Novosti question: On 19 September 2019 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 tries to refrain from commenting on the activities of the European Parliament. However, we have to make an exception in this particular case because it concerns a new round of gross distortion of history.
This resolution is nothing but a package of revisionist claims. The European Parliament has made yet another outrageous attempt to equalise Nazi Germany, an aggressor country, and the Soviet Union, whose peoples paid a huge price for the liberation of Europe from fascism.
The MEPs' claim that WWII began due to the signing of the Non-Aggression Treaty between the Soviet Union and Germany on 23 August 1939 has nothing to do with historical facts. At the same time, the resolution does not say a word on Western countries’ policy of appeasement of the aggressor in a bid to redirect Hitler’s plans of invasion from the West to the East, nor on the culmination of that development, namely the Munich Sell-out of 1938. Its signatories threw a sovereign state, Czechoslovakia, to Nazi wolves. This selective historical memory is shockingly cynical against the background of numerous references to the "difficult fate" of Poland, which, by the way, took part in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany as early as 1934.
We would like to point out once again the dangers of the line for politicisation of history and revision of historical facts. While sidestepping the pages that are unpleasant to them and interpreting a "whitewashed" version of events at their own discretion, the European Parliament is ultimately severing connection to reality. And the reality is such that in a number of European countries Nazi criminals are being rehabilitated, marches of Waffen SS veterans and their supporters are held, and neo-Nazi organisations feel free to do as they please. This is a source of a very real threat to fundamental democratic principles and human rights.
Any attempts to formulate an EU domestic agenda on the basis of distortion of historical truth will not help defeat intolerance on the European continent. Manipulation of facts for self-serving purposes can neither be a moral nor a political guideline. On the contrary, it will likely undermine the belief of Europeans, above all young people, in those very European values which Brussels likes to talk so much about.
We consider the distortion of the past inadmissible. It is our deep conviction that history must remain the purview of responsible professionals rather than politicians who use it for their own selfish reasons.