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Proposal of Russia's reevaluation of German WWII reparations dismissed as nonsense

February 03, 2015, 13:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s Izvestia daily reported earlier that the lawmakers of the State Duma are setting up a working group that will calculate the damage inflicted by Germany on the USSR during the World War II
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Chairman of Russia’s State Duma education committee, Vyacheslav Nikonov

Chairman of Russia’s State Duma education committee, Vyacheslav Nikonov

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The chairman of Russia’s State Duma education committee, Vyacheslav Nikonov, dismissed as nonsense a proposal by a Russian lawmaker that Moscow should ask Germany to pay reparations for the World War II damage.

"That’s nonsense," Nikonov, a prominent Russian political scientist and historian, told TASS in comments to a proposal voiced by Mikhail Degtyaryov, a lawmaker from the Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR).

"The reparations were paid by Germany and mainly East Germany, and this matter has been settled," Nikonov said, adding that Germany stopped paying reparations in 1953.

Russia’s Izvestia daily reported on Tuesday that the lawmakers of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, are setting up a working group that will calculate the damage inflicted by Germany, which invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

Degtyaryov, a member of the LDPR’s supreme council, claimed that Germany had paid practically no reparations for the devastation and carnage during World War II, which is known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia.

The lawmaker said although an agreement on cessation of reparations was signed with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), no such agreements were ever signed with the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and after the German reunification.

Under the Yalta agreements, the Soviet Union received some German assets, mostly furniture, clothes and manufacturing equipment, from the Soviet sector of control. But this no way compensated for the damage to the USSR’s economy during the war.

Degtyaryov believes this issue remains "open and quite topical," all the more so that today Germany continues inflicting damage on Russia by pressing forward with unlawful sanctions on the part of the European Union.

The lawmaker said the total amount of reparations that Germany has to pay to Russia, which is the legal successor to the USSR, could stand at around €3-4 trillion.

Russian experts say, however, that although claims against Germany are well-grounded, repayment of reparations is possible only upon an interstate agreement and it is practically unrealistic to recover any reparations seventy years after the end of the war.

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