Posted on Jan 16, 2020
The European Commission has supported Poland in its dispute with Russia over the history of the Second World War.
The dispute stemmed in part from comments made by President Vladimir Putin in December stating that the Polish ambassador to Berlin, Józef Lipski, had praised Adolf Hitler's plans to exterminate Jews, referring to the diplomat as "That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig".
"The commission fully rejects any false claims that attempt to distort the history of the Second World War or paint the victims like Poland as perpetrators," said the EU's commissioner for values and transparency, Věra Jourová.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in December that the Russian president was lying about the war's history, emphasising that as time passes it's important to speak the truth.
"The memory about this evil is particularly important for Poland - the war's first victim," Morawiecki said in a statement.
Manfred Weber, who leads the European People's Party said on Wednesday that the party would not accept "Putin's attempt to rewrite history".
"Every German politician has to assume the responsibility of our country. But every politician inside and outside of Europe also has the responsibility not to play with history," Weber told the EU's parliament during a debate.
"I cannot and we as EPP cannot accept Putin's attempt to rewrite history."
Putin has also criticised western powers for the 1938 Munich Agreement that allowed Hitler to annex Czechoslovakia, calling it an example of western powers' "collusion" with Hitler.
The Russian leader was lashing out after the European Parliament issued a resolution blaming World War II's outbreak in part on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact - officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - a nonaggression pact signed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Putin called the European Parliament's resolution "sheer nonsense".
The dispute comes ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory this spring.
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