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06.07.2009

Resolution on Stalin riles Russia

   

Russian delegates have walked out of an OSCE session in Vilnius after it voted for a remembrance day for the victims of both Nazism and Stalinism.
The pan-European security and democracy body passed a resolution equating the roles of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in starting World War II.
Moscow’s delegation boycotted the vote after failing to have it withdrawn.
Relations between Russia and the OSCE are already strained over hurdles to election observers in Russia itself.
’No insult’
The resolution, meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, said that Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union brought genocide and crimes against humanity to Europe.
It calls for making 23 August a day of remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
On that day in 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact that carved up Eastern Europe between the two countries.
Vilija Aleknaite-Abramikiene, the Lithuanian delegate who drafted the resolution, said the intention was not to insult anybody, but to remember those who perished in World War II.
Out of 385 assembly members, only eight voted against the resolution.
Russia’s delegates to the OSCE session were strongly opposed to the resolution and left the hall immediately after it was passed.
Joseph Stalin continues to be a hero to many Russians, who credit him with defeating Nazi Germany.

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