Manipulating the historical events that led to World War 2 and to the division of Europe in its aftermath is a "regrettable effort to falsify history", says a joint statement by the U. S. Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia on the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War 2.
Paying tribute to the victims and to all soldiers who fought to defeat Nazi Germany and put an end to the Holocaust, signatories note that May 1945 did not bring freedom to all of Europe.
"The central and eastern part of the continent remained under the rule of communist regimes for almost 50 years. The Baltic States were illegally occupied and annexed and the iron grip over the other captive nations was enforced by the Soviet Union using overwhelming military force, repression, and ideological control," the statement reads.
"For many decades, numerous Europeans from the central and eastern part of the continent sacrificed their lives striving for freedom, as millions were deprived of their rights and fundamental freedoms, subjected to torture and forced displacement," the top diplomats note. "Societies behind the Iron Curtain desperately sought a path to democracy and independence."
"The future should be based on the facts of history and justice for the victims of totalitarian regimes," the statement reads. "We are ready for dialogue with all those interested in pursuing these principles."
"Manipulating the historical events that led to the Second World War and to the division of Europe in the aftermath of the war constitutes a regrettable effort to falsify history," the foreign offices' leaders stress.
They have reminded members of the international community that lasting international security, stability and peace "requires genuine and continuous adherence to international law and norms, including the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states."
"By learning the cruel lessons of the Second World War, we call on the international community to join us in firmly rejecting the concept of spheres of influence and insisting on equality of all sovereign nations," the statement concludes.