Russian leaders have been trying to “rewrite” history, the Lithuanian president insists, pointing to Vladimir Putin's recent statements playing down the impact of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
“Lately, Russia has been putting every effort into trying to rewrite history. One of the examples is denying the impact of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact's secret protocols on Europe's painful history,” Nausėda posted on his Facebook profile on Monday.
The 1939 Non-Aggression Treaty between the USSR and Nazi Germany, signed by their respective foreign ministers Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop, contained secret protocols in which Moscow and Berlin divided up Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. The USSR long denied the existence of the secret protocols.
The European Parliament recently passed a resolution, saying that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact triggered World War Two in 1939.
In his post, Nausėda pointed out that 30 years ago, on December 24, 1989, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union recognised the existence of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact's secret protocols and declared them null and void.
“These secret agreements between Nazi Germany and the communist Soviet Unions led to subsequent occupation of the Baltic states,” the president wrote. “Historic memory determines how we perceive the future. Let's not forget the lessons we must learn from our and Europe's history. Let's not allow replacing the truth with sham signs of lies.”
Speaking at an informal meeting of former Soviet countries' leaders in Saint Petersburg on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the European Parliament's resolution.
The Russian leader said that the Soviet Union had no choice but to sign the pact with Germany, since Western countries ignored Moscow's proposals to forge a military alliance.
He called the EP resolution part of an attempt by the West to diminish the Soviet Union's decisive role in securing a victory against Nazi Germany.