Russia must adhere to the previous assessment of the history of the Second World War and not allow the USSR to be presented as an occupier on a par with Hitler’s Germany when establishing relations with the Czech Republic. This opinion was expressed to the Federal News Agency by State Duma Deputy Dmitry Novikov.
Thus, he reacted to the desire of the Czech side to hold talks with Moscow on the normalization of relations between the two countries. The interests of the Czech Republic will be represented by the head of the International Department of the Office of the President of the Republic Rudolf Jindrak. He said that the format, composition and other aspects of the upcoming negotiations are currently the subject of internal discussions. The diplomat believes that the consultations should first take place at the working level.
Thus, disputes between Prague and Moscow are being conducted over the fate of the monument to Marshal Ivan Konev in the Czech capital. Yindrak noted that World War II is of particular importance for the Russian people, and Konev is an undisputed hero. The authorities and people of the Czech Republic must take this fact into account.
“Knowledge of realities, historical and psychological prerequisites, collective memory and similar constituent parts of identity in this case are key so that the dialogue on this topic does not resemble at best a discussion between the blind and the deaf,” he said.
The very idea of normalizing relations is not new and does not sound for the first time, emphasizes Dmitry Novikov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
“We have already talked about such a proposal, and the time has come to translate it into a practical plane. You need to understand that Russia and the Czech Republic have an interesting history of relations. The current position of Prague very often does not correspond to the interests of our two peoples, as well as the development of economic and cultural ties between countries. I do not think that it shows the mood of the entire Czech people. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the figure of the Czech president reflects a serious cut of the mood in society. He speaks out much more constructively in relation to Russian-Czech relations than representatives of a number of parties sitting in parliament, ”Novikov said in a comment to the FAN.
According to the parliamentarian, the countries have serious economic potential for development, as well as close cultural ties. Moreover, the same Russian diaspora is noticeable in the public life of the Czech Republic.
“All this creates a benevolent basis and allows us to overcome anti-Russian sentiments in the political establishment of the West, which hinders the development of our ties. Therefore, it is now very important to establish normal relationships. There will be a lot of work for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and parliamentary diplomacy. Despite the inclusion of the Czech Republic in the orbit of NATO policy, many issues on improving relations between Moscow and Prague can be resolved, ”Novikov expressed hope.
However, the Russian Federation needs to maintain “adherence to principles in assessing key episodes of Soviet history” and not agree with those who in the Czech Republic are trying to falsify the history of World War II, the deputy said.
“They want to present the Soviet Union as an occupier, on a par with Hitler’s Germany. This is impossible not only from the point of view of the fairness of such an assessment, but one cannot agree with this, since it is fraught with political consequences for the Russian Federation. These principled positions in the course of the negotiation process must be adhered to, ”the FAN interlocutor added.
Earlier, in the Czech Republic, a monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev was dismantled on the Interbrigade Square in Prague. The decision was initiated by the head of the Prague-6 district Ondřej Kolář at the beginning of April 2020.
On April 8, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu appealed to the Chairman of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, with a request to prosecute foreign officials who decide to demolish memorials to fallen Soviet soldiers and outstanding military leaders. Later, the RF IC opened a criminal case under Part 3 of Art. 354.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Desecration of symbols of Russia’s military glory, committed in public.”