The Polish authorities’ approach to building ties with Russia stipulates that current relations depend on interpreting historic events, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"There are two ways: the first one is to learn from historic mistakes, the errors of the past and to draw conclusions and move forward, building the future and understanding history. The second way is to endlessly make one’s future and the future of neighboring countries, regions and the world dependent on the interpretation of history and history in principle," Zakharova said.
According to the Russian diplomat, some members of the Polish political elite have adopted this position, which prevents Moscow and Warsaw from cultivating bilateral relations. "This is definitely a factor that also complicates relations between the European Union and Russia, given the position of Poland in the EU and its chosen strategy," TASS quoted Zakharova as saying.
The diplomat recalled a thesis put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin that it was high time Warsaw stopped constantly discussing challenging issues of the 20th century and looked ahead. This idea, which Putin suggested in his article ahead of his visit to Poland in 2009 as the Russian prime minister, is part of a "fundamental approach to building ties" with Poland, Zakharova said. "We spoke about this when we used to have regular contacts at the level of foreign ministers. But unfortunately, we see that the reaction is so that Warsaw did not welcome this thesis," she noted.
During his annual news conference on December 19, Putin recalled that the USSR was the last country in Europe, which signed the treaty on non-aggression with Germany, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Putin noted that the Soviet forces entered Poland in line with protocols under this pact, but earlier Poland had taken part in dividing Czechoslovakia. By the moment when the Soviet troops entered the territory, the Polish government had lost control over the armed forces and fled the country. As the Russian president said, "there was no one to talk to."
In response, the Polish Foreign Ministry voiced concerns over Putin’s remark. In its statement, the ministry noted that Putin’s words "represented a wrong picture of events" and aroused concerns and mistrust.
Russian-Polish experts are working as part of a commission on challenging historic issues in bilateral relations, set up to overcome contradictions over different viewpoints on the events of the past.