From the looks of it, neither Vladimir Putin nor Donald Tusk want the Poland-Russia summit in Gdansk tomorrow on the WWII anniversary to turn into a slugfest … but seemingly everybody else does. From Reuters:
Polish media reacted angrily on Monday to claims made on an official Russian website at the weekend that Poland’s foreign minister in 1939, Jozef Beck, was a Nazi German agent.
A Russian military academic also recently outraged Poles by suggesting Poland was to blame for the outbreak of war in 1939 because it had refused Germany’s ‘modest’ demands, which included annexing the free city of Gdansk (Danzig in German).
Russia responded with fury when an arm of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted a resolution in July — drafted by Lithuania — that blamed both fascism and Stalinism for the outbreak of World War Two.
Putin himself, a former KGB agent, has described the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.
Adam Jasser of the Polish think-tank DemosEuropa said Russia must distance itself from aspects of its past.
“As long as Russia refuses to come clean on the deadly terror of Stalinism at home, the alliance with Hitler … and finally the brutal subjugation of nations in its vicinity after the war, it will be building its national identity on a lie and remain constrained in its ability to modernise and move forward,” he said.
“It would be of huge benefit to Russia and Europe if the next generation of Russian leaders chose to follow suit by unequivocally repudiating Stalinism in all its guises.”