Putin urges openness on Polish-Russian history

As Poland and Russia commemorate the start of World War II their prime ministers have urged greater reconciliation and truth about the two nations’ shared history.

Yesterday Vladimir Putin condemned the 1939 treaty between the Nazis and Moscow that carved up Europe. This morning in Gdansk he called for openness between Russia and Poland on their post-war bitter relations.

At a news conference Putin said: “We have to take account of all the nuances of history, being aware of all perspectives and not imposing one point of view over another. We have to position ourselves above the problems of the past. We must walk together towards the future.”

The Polish and Russian leaders together honoured the memory of the war dead.

Donald Tusk stressed it was vital to keep those memories alive.

“This is the remembrance which we Poles do not want to use against anybody. We remember because we know those who will forget or
falsify their history will bring disaster again”

But many Poles want Russia to acknowledge what they see as wrongdoing by Moscow during the war, and in the Soviet years, particularly the massacre of Polish officers at Katyn.

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