Gabriela Baczynska and Denis Dyomkin
Tuesday, Sept 1, 2009
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rebuffed criticism on Tuesday of Moscow’s role just before World War Two during ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland.
But Putin and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk agreed that their countries’ historians should work more closely to uncover darker parts of their shared past which still cloud relations 20 years after the collapse of communism in eastern Europe.
Russia and former satellites such as Poland are at loggerheads over the role of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1939, when he clinched a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that opened the way for the invasion of Poland and world war.
“If we are going to speak objectively about history we must understand it does not have just one color. It was diverse and a huge number of mistakes were made by all sides,” Putin told a news conference after talks with Tusk in the resort of Sopot.