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Putin blames WWII on West`s deal with Hitler

Last Updated: Monday, August 31, 2009 - 22:27

Warsaw: Russia`s prime minister on Monday
condemned Moscow`s 1939 treaty with Berlin carving up Europe,
as well as British and French pacts with the Nazis, in remarks
published before the 70th anniversary of the start of World
War II.

Vladimir Putin wrote in an article published Monday in
Poland`s daily Gazeta Wyborcza that Moscow`s deal with Hitler
was "immoral." But he blamed other European nations for
leaving the Soviet Union to face Nazi Germany alone.

On the eve of his visit to Poland for war anniversary
ceremonies, Putin called for Russian inclusion in efforts to
build a European security system.

He also struck a conciliatory note on the persistently
thorny issue of the 1940 massacre by Soviet secret police of
Polish military officers and intellectuals in Russia`s Katyn
forest and other locations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European
leaders are to attend the ceremonies tomorrow at Westerplatte,
a former Polish military outpost that held off a Nazi attack
over the first week of the German invasion.

For Poles, this Baltic Sea peninsula has come to
symbolise their wartime heroics.

Nazi Germany sparked the war by invading Poland on Sept
1, 1939, just days after its Foreign Minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop signed a mutual nonaggression treaty with his
Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 31, 2009 - 22:27

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