- According to Zhuravlev, the resolution "does not comply with the principles of historical justice and was adopted in the context of increasing political instability of those years."
- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania summoned Russian Ambassadors to discuss grave concerns over the possible return of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
- The Pact divided Europe into two spheres of control between Russia and Germany.
Lithuania is concerned about the resurrection of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Pact was deemed in invalid in 1989, under Mikhail Gorbachev. However, recently, the Russian State Duma began contemplating a bill that will overturn the invalidation of the Pact.
Deputy Alexey Zhuravlev introduced a bill in late May which proposed to annul the decision of the Soviet Union’s Council of People’s Deputies of December 24, 1989, condemning the signing of the Soviet-German non-aggression Pact of 1939.
According to Zhuravlev, the resolution “does not comply with the principles of historical justice and was adopted in the context of increasing political instability of those years, accompanied by pressure from external forces.” The Duma initiative was supported by 38 scientists, public figures and officers.
Last year, in an historic move, Russia released the original copy of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It was to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Pact’s signing, the pre-World War II agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
This supposed “non-aggression” pact was signed by the two powers on August 23, 1939. The devastating impact of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on the Baltic Republics was their loss of independence.
A new compilation of documents “Forced Alliance-Soviet Baltic diplomatic relations and international crisis 1939-1940,” released by the Historic Foundation, outlines the tragic events. Essentially, the pact divided Europe into two spheres between Soviet Union and Germany.
Furthermore, on June 18th, the Russian Ambassador was summoned to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry to discuss their “profound concern” over the Kremlin’s agenda pertaining to the Pact.
Additionally, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dalius Čekuolis, stated that “the collusion of the two dictators, which is now being tried to rehabilitate, has been repeatedly condemned not only by the international community, but also by Russia itself.”
He also expressed hope that “the Duma of the Russian Federation will have the wisdom to reject the project that returns today’s Russia back to the totalitarian past.”
Estonia, in a similar move, summoned the Russian Ambassador to their Foreign Ministry last Thursday to discuss the situation. The Estonian Foreign Minister, Urmas Reinsalu, said that “we express our discontent at the legal initiative being considered in the State Duma.” Reinsalu added:
“The international community has repeatedly condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in the strongest terms. The pact and its secret protocols led directly to the cynical dividing of the world by two totalitarian regimes and paved the way for World War II, one of the most terrible chapters in our shared history.”
He added that this initiative is particularly reprehensible on the 75th anniversary of the end of world war II. “I hope that Russia does not proceed with a motion that is so disrespectful to the victims of these regimes.”
The Latvian Foreign Ministry’s Political Director, Janis Mažeiks, met with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Latvia, Yevgeny Lukyanov, on June 18. Mazeiks indicated during the meeting with the Russian ambassador that the adoption of such legislation would impact Latvian-Russian bilateral relations and the EU’s relations with Russia.
Mažeiks also pointed out that the draft legislation contains an interpretation of historical events that contradicts internationally well-established, undeniable and unambiguous facts, supported by extensive documentary evidence, and it may therefore be regarded as distortion of history.