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Russian foreign intelligence chief recommends MEPs to seek historians’ advice

WW2 resolution adopted by the European Parliament is a "political put-up job," the Russian official claims
Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin  Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. The European Parliament should have sought advice of historians before adopting a resolution accusing the Soviet Union of unleashing the Second World War to learn the true reasons behind its outbreak, Russian Historical Society (RHS) Director, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin said on Tuesday, opening an international scientific conference dubbed "80th anniversary of the Second World War outbreak" at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

On September 19, the European Parliament adopted the resolution "on the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe" by 535 votes in favor, 66 against and 52 abstentions. The resolution contains sharp criticism of the Soviet Union leadership’s policies. For instance, the document sets out that the Second World War was provoked by the Treaty of Non-Aggression, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939. The parliament also says that back then the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic States and a part of Poland and declared war on Finland. The European Parliament also raised concerns about the "continued use of symbols of totalitarian regimes in the public sphere and for commercial purposes" and recalled that "a number of European countries have banned the use of both Nazi and communist symbols."

"I would like to address distinguished European historians present in this hall today. Did MEPs ask you when they drafted this resolution? I don’t believe they did. Meanwhile authorities in Russia do not teach historians ideological literacy but rather expect objective assessments from them, including those on most complicated issues. I am convinced that a fair historical analysis is as required today as never before, which will bear a lot of fruit for the world," Naryshkin said.

At the same time, he recalled that the then leaders of the UK and France were appeasing Hitler’s Germany, turning a blind eye to calls of the Soviet leadership to create a system of collective security. "Hitler’s ideology had a lot of supporters in high cabinets in a number of European capitals, London and Paris primarily, until a certain point. Blinded by anti-Sovietism, the UK and French leaders backed, or as they say, appeased the aggressor," Naryshkin underlined.

He added that the 1939 Munich Betrayal on cession of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to the Third Reich without Czechoslovakia’s agreement ultimately untied Hitler’s hands, becoming a prologue for the outbreak of World War II that killed roughly 70 million people.

"Political put-up job"

The European Parliament’s resolution accusing the Soviet Union of unleashing the Second World War is a "political put-up job" against Russia, Naryshkin claimed. 

"The recent resolution adopted by the European Parliament that assigned the historic blame for the outbreak of the Second World War on the Soviet Union is nothing but a product of the cynical, immoral and even sleazy political put-up job. Deficit of objective historical knowledge in a number of Eastern European countries has reached a critically dangerous level, bearing in mind that any person has a right to receive objective historical information," Naryshkin said.

According to him, European politicians often lack historical knowledge, which is a worrisome tendency. "So far it is necessary to acknowledge that historical culture of the majority of European politicians is significantly deteriorating," the RHS director noted.

Naryshkin added that meetings of professional historians from various countries become crucial amid tendencies of falsification of history and expressed hope that they would counter such intentions.