Riigikogu weighing statement to rectify Russia's treatment of history
Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee will very likely draw up a statement to condemn Russia's attempts to interpret the history of World War II in a favorable way and blame other countries for the war.
The Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee discussed Reform Party MP Marko Mihkelson's proposal of writing such a statement on Monday and will return to the matter on Thursday after Riigikogu groups have had time to shape their positions.
"We talked about it today and agreed that factions will discuss the matter and we'll make a decision on Thursday," committee chair Enn Eesmaa (Center) told ERR.
"World War II has been used as a topic by Russia to serve its foreign policy goals for a long time, however, we haven't seen it done as sharply, forcefully and en masse as what we're seeing from all channels right now for 30 years, ever since the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union declassified and condemned the MRP secret protocols in 1989," Mihkelson told ERR on Monday. He said Russia has returned to a Stalinist treatment of history and is forcefully vindicating it. Russia has first and foremost blamed Poland in the context of WWII and all but made the country out to be one of those responsible for the conflict, Mihkelson added.
Mihkelson pointed to corresponding statements passed by the parliaments of Poland and Latvia recently and a European Parliament discussion from last week and statement from September. The European Commission has also spoken out in defense of Poland when Vice President Vera Jourova criticized Russia's actions last week.
"It is time for the Riigikogu to follow their example and pass a statement in defense of historical truth against Russia's massive revisionist propaganda attack on the topic of World War II. Russia's goal is to defend its current policy of conquest by vindicating the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact," Mihkelson said.
Should the foreign affairs committee decide to draw up the statement on Thursday, the process will see one representative from each group and the statement will have an explanatory memo, Eesmaa explained. Asked how quickly the statement could come up for a vote, Eesmaa said it could be Tuesday next at the earliest.
Eesmaa added that while he supports the statement, the Center Party is set to discuss the matter on Wednesday.
"It is titled 'Ajaloomälust ja mäletamisest' (Of Historical Memory and Remembering) and tied to recent statements by Russia concerning the Second World War and rather mean utterances aimed at Poland. There are several reasons. Let it be said once more than we have not concluded these discussions yet," Eesmaa emphasized.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski