Putin's historical narratives have nothing in common with truth, says Paweł Zalewski, a Polish politician and Member of the European Parliament.
Addressing participants in the international round table via video conference on "Neoimperialism between the Baltic and the Black Sea" last week, set up by Institute of Democratization and Development, Zalewski took the chance to comment on Vladimir Putin's recent op-ed published by The National Interest, titled "The real lessons of the 75th anniversary of the World War II".
Claiming to explain facts and historical events that led to WW2, the Russian president never addressed the issue of the Soviet-German Pact or the political processes in Germany that had resulted in the start of the global war
Instead, speaking of Poland, Putin said the blame for the tragedy that the country suffered lies entirely with the Polish government which "was doing its utmost to hamper the establishment of a collective security system in Europe".
Also, Putin seems to portray Germany as a "victim of World War II," the MEP stressed.
But "the most important [thing] for everybody is the truth!" he said. "Now we are confronted with narrative, which is the narrative of president Putin, the narrative which is completely not connected to the facts and historical truth."
Noting that "authoritarian countries use history as political tool", the Polish commentator said Russia applies this tool "to enslave their victims", like the neighboring countries.
In this regard, the politician stressed that the common response should be "to show the truth because only truth can defend us".
"Sometimes the truth is unpleasant," Zalewski admitted. "Sometimes the truth is very tragic for those who are presenting it."
Speaking of the Polish-Ukrainian history, the politician said it is common knowledge that "the truth about this history is painful for both the Poles and the Ukrainians".
"But when we think about friendship for the future we have to come back to the truth, we have to find the truth, because only the truth can allow us to avoid the falls of the past," he said.
"We should study, research, promote the truth about the history because only the truth can be the basis for real friendship between nations," concluded Zalewski.