On 15 January, the European Parliament members of the European People‘s Party group, Andrius Kubilius and Rasa Juknevičienė participated in the press conference “Distortion of European history and remembrance of the Second World War” in Strasbourg together with parliamentary colleagues from Poland Andrzej Halicki and Radosław Sikorski, EPP Lithuanian Bureau reported.
A. Kubilius claimed to be surprised by the reaction of Russian President Vladimir Putin towards a resolution, adopted in Parliament in September “on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe“ and the attention paid to it at the end of 2019.
“It was Soviet-type propaganda and an attack against history because everybody knows that World War II was started by Hitler and Stalin. What is more, surprising were V. Putin‘s attempts to convince that Poland is itself to blame for Hitler and Stalin dividing and occupying the country. That is why today we stand together with Poland in order to defend the real European and real World War II history. We are also sided by side with Poland against this unprecedented propaganda attack,“ MEP A. Kubilius said.
According to him, these actions by the Russian President raise questions, while the answer is simple: V. Putin is behaving like a typical authoritarian leader, who is in charge of a crumbling empire.
“Post imperial leaders enjoy changing history, seeking to keep nostalgia for the past in society. That is typical of V. Putin‘s behaviour and, sadly, ordinary Russians suffer the most because of this kind of approach towards history,” said A. Kubilius.
During the press conference MEP Rasa Juknevičienė raised the question of why the Russian president turned into a historian: “Maybe it means that we see another stage of collapse of the residual USSR because even though the USSR collapsed formally, we see an aggressive empire nearby, which is causing problems to the European Union, Europe and the whole world”.
According to the politician, fortunately, reactions of representatives of various institutions demonstrate that very few and perhaps nobody believes in Putin‘s lies, therefore he will lose.
“He lost the friendship of Ukraine, lost participation in the Olympic Games – he is losing everywhere, regardless of the fact that some think that he is a great leader. Therefore, Putin will lose this battle – especially in the Western countries,” she said.
The MEP expressed her concern about V. Putin trying to restore the cult of Stalin and rehabilitate him as a leader.
“Could you imagine monuments to Hitler being built in Germany? That is impossible. While in Russia monuments are built for Stalin, V. Putin is the first among leaders of the Russian Federation to be trying to rehabilitate Stalin,” the parliamentarian noted. R. Juknevičienė also drew attention to the fact that at her initiative a non-formal group “For the remembrance of Europe“ was established in the European Parliament, which will be assigned to implement the adopted resolution.