MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out at a meeting on Thursday with Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and President of the Russian Federation of Jewish Communities Rabbi Alexander Boroda that the majority of Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis, were Soviet citizens and this is a common tragedy.
"Out of all the Jews exterminated by the Nazis, the majority were citizens of the Soviet Union, and this is a source of our common pain," Putin emphasized, noting that Russia was "categorically against losing sight of crimes of this magnitude that have no statute of limitations."
"And we are doing this, we are pursuing a policy aimed at ensuring that nothing like this will ever happen again in the history of mankind," Putin stressed.
Putin’s meeting with members of the Jewish community was timed to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is marked on January 27, the day the most notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, was liberated by the Red Army.
"I know the position of the Jewish community of Russia, I know the position of the State of Israel regarding the role and significance of the Red Army in the victory over Nazism and over fascism. We highly appreciate it, but - I want to say this once again - this is of particular importance for our people," Putin highlighted.
Russia regrets that many countries have been reluctant to cooperate in exposing Nazi atrocities, Putin said.
"Russia’s investigative bodies and the prosecutor's office are pushing ahead with scrupulous work to investigate crimes of this kind in relation to all citizens of the former Soviet Union, regardless of their nationality. It goes without saying that this work is and will be a significant contribution to uncovering the crimes of Nazism and those against the Jews," Putin emphasized.
He recalled it was common knowledge that Jewish organizations around the world supported such efforts.
"We have been doing everything to ensure that it enjoys worldwide support. Unfortunately, under various pretexts, many countries shun joint efforts in this vital area," Putin noted.
"But we, regardless of the current political situation, will continue to do so," he stressed.
Putin asked Lazar and Boroda to convey "the very best wishes" to those who are going to take part in tomorrow's scheduled events on the occasion of this significant date.
During World War II, people of many nationalities, including 6 million Jews, were exterminated in Nazi concentration camps. On January 27, 1945, the Red Army freed the world’s most notorious concentration camp, Auschwitz. Based on the UN General Assembly’s resolution, since 2005, this day has been set aside worldwide to be marked as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.