Staunton, May 27 -- Aleksey Zhuravlyev, leader of the Rodina Party fraction in the Duma, has introduced legislation that would annul as far as the Russian Federation is concerned the December 1989 decision of the USSR Congress of Peoples Deputies denouncing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols.
The measure (sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/963443-7), according to Zhravlyev’s supportive documentation, is necessary because the 1989 document “does not correspond to the principles of historical justice and was adopted under conditions of growing political instability of those years and was accompanied by pressure from foreign forces.”
Those who wrote the earlier measure, he argues, “were not guided by the principles of objectivity and dispassionate analysis but sought to condemn the secret protocol concerning “’the geopolitical transformations in Europe on the eve of World War II’” (znak.com/2020-05-27/v_gosdumu_vnesen_zakon_ob_otmene_dokumenta_osudivshego_pakt_molotova_ribbentropa_v_sssr).
Zhuravlyev argues that “the practice of secret protocols was a characteristic aspect of diplomacy of that time and that the economic and political interests of states … are always present in international relations. The Protocol did not call for changes of borders of other countries by any means including military – in contrast to the present when ‘democracy’ is exported with the help of ‘orange revolutions’ and the overthrow of legal governments.”
The Rodina leader says that the 1989 action was taken for another reason as well – “the creation of the illusion of the legitimacy of the exit from the USSR of the Baltic republics which supposedly were included in the USSR against their will.” But it must be annulled for another reason as well, the basis it provides for falsifying Moscow’s role in starting World War II.
The 1989 actin “does not correspond to the state interests of Russia and creates the basis for speculations directed at splitting civil society and accusing the USSR of unleashing World War II together with Hitlerite Germany,” the deputy says.
Zhuravlyev also has introduced legislation calling for establishing criminal penalties including fines of as much as 300,000 rubles (4800 US dollars) and five years in prison for “falsifying the history of the USSR during World War II”(znak.com/2020-05-27/v_gosdume_predlozhili_sazhat_na_5_let_za_falsifikaciyu_faktov_o_vtoroy_mirovoy_voyne).
It is far from clear whether these measures will pass, but they constitute the latest step in the evolution in Moscow’s approach to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact from denial to explanation to full-throated support for what Stalin and Hitler did in 1939.