Why didn’t the Allies declare war on the USSR when they invaded Poland?
Warsaw expressed outrage at the distortion of history in the official statements of Russian politicians
The authorities of Poland and Russia again entered into a dispute over the reasons why World War II began, accusing each other of distorting history.
On December 21, the Polish Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that Warsaw “met with concern and distrust the statements of representatives of the Russian Federation, including President Vladimir Putin, about the origins and course of World War II, with a distortion of events.”.
Warsaw accused Moscow of “resuming Stalinist propaganda” and “careless attitude” to the efforts that were once undertaken by the former leaders of the USSR and Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.
On December 22, the TASS news agency quoted Maria Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who accused Warsaw of deteriorating relations between the two countries, “thanks to aggressive rhetoric and the destruction of monuments to the fighters against fascism.”.
Moscow has also accused Poland of being behind the recent EU sanctions against Russia in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. Brussels extended these sanctions for another six months in December 2019.
Relations between Moscow and Warsaw escalated again last week, when Putin blamed Western countries and Poland for initiating World War II. The Russian president, however, referred to various agreements signed by Nazi Germany before 1939, when World War II began..
In September, Putin criticized a resolution passed by the European Union, which said that the non-aggression pact signed by the USSR and Germany in 1939 “paved the way for the outbreak of World War II.” The resolution said that the pact was actually a division of Europe “between two totalitarian regimes” – Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
This year marks 80 years since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in which Germany and the USSR agreed on the division of spheres of influence over the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Polish Foreign Ministry in its statement mentioned the suffering of the Poles and the Polish state from the hostile actions of the USSR before and during the war. The statement says that a total of 566,000 Poles suffered from Soviet repression..
Many historians consider Nazi-occupied Poland one of the main victims of the Second World War, during which about 6 million people died in the country, mostly civilians – about 17% of the population of pre-war Poland..
The losses of the Soviet Union, according to some estimates, amounted to about 20 million people, about half of them are civilians, that is, 11% of the country’s population.
Poland, formerly part of the Warsaw Pact, a military bloc of socialist countries led by the USSR, formed during the Cold War, is now a member of the EU and NATO. The country has close ties with the United States, Warsaw often calls on Western allies to beware of attempts to “pacify” Moscow.
Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine and the United States oppose the construction of Nord Stream 2, an underwater gas pipeline through which Russia plans to export gas to Europe via Germany.
President Donald Trump last week signed legislation imposing sanctions on companies involved in the project. The West believes that Nord Stream 2 will increase Europe’s dependence on energy supplies from Russia.