MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Russia views statements of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the memorial project at the site of what was the Nazi death camp Sobibor in Poland as a sign aimed at encouraging the committee to resume talks on Russia’s participation in it, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"We were satisfied to hear that at the August 23 meeting in Sochi with the Russian president the Israeli prime minister voiced the Israeli side’s support for Russia’s participation in the project to create a new museum, a memorial on the territory of the former Nazi death camp in Poland’s Sobibor," Zakharova said.
"We view this statement as an important step for re-establishing historic and human justice, as a signal aimed at encouraging members of the International Steering Committee to resume talks on the full-fledged participation of Russia in the work in this structure," she said.
The diplomat recalled that Russia had been ready to take part in this project from the very beginning. "We consider that the Israeli side’s confirmation of its traditional stance on the results of World War II and the Red Army’s role in the victory over fascism is a clear and unambiguous signal which rules out any insinuations around Russia’s participation in the project," Zakharova said.
Sobibor was a Nazi German extermination camp located near the railway station of Sobibor in Poland, which operated from May 1942 to October 1943. According to different estimates, 150,000 to 250,000 Jews from Poland and other European countries were put to death there. The concentration camp ceased to exist after an uprising by its inmates led by Soviet officer Aleksandr Pechersky.
Russia was invited to join the project for the museum’s renovation in 2013, initiated by Poland, Israel, the Netherlands and Slovenia, whose representatives have seats in the organizing committee. Russia accepted the invitation.
In July 2017 Warsaw said that the project’s International Steering Committee had excluded Russia from the list of participants. Zakharova said Moscow reacted with surprise to the news that the Netherlands, Slovakia and Israel had changed their mind.