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Turning Back Time: Putting Putin's Molotov-Ribbentrop Defense Into Context

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/putin-russia-molotov-ribbentrop-pact/27017…;

Russian President Vladimir Putin got the world's attention on May 10 when, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he unapologetically defended the infamous 1939 nonaggression pact between Adolf Hitler's Germany and Josef Stalin's Soviet Union.
 
The so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact -- named after the two foreign ministers who signed it in the late-night hours of August 23, 1939 -- was formally a nonaggression pact. But it also encompassed a secret protocol under which the two dictatorships agreed to carve up Eastern Europe.
 
The agreement paved the way for Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1 of that year, as well as the Soviet Union's invasion of eastern Poland in the following weeks and its occupation of the Baltic states in 1940.
 
In his comments with Merkel, Putin said the pact "made sense for ensuring the security of the Soviet Union" after what he described as Stalin's "repeated efforts" throughout the 1930s to form an anti-Hitler coalition with Western countries.
 

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Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/putin-russia-molotov-ribbentrop-pact/27017…;

Turning Back Time: Putting Putin's Molotov-Ribbentrop Defense Into Context

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