Polish MFA slams Minsk over national holiday proclamation

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reacted on the declaration of the Belarusian authorities on the establishment of a new holiday called “National Unity Day” on September 17 with indignation, stating that basing the historical policy of Belarus on the legacy of the Stalin-Hitler pact is a gesture that fits well in the Russian narrative.

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A decree on the introduction of a new National Unity Day holiday was signed by Alexander Lukashenko, which official historiography in Belarus describes as the anniversary of annexing the lands of western Belarus to the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

“This is a gesture that fits in with the Russian efforts to reinterpret the extremely difficult history of our region, which will seriously impede Belarus from dialogue and understanding with neighboring countries, as well as with the countries of all Europe,” the ministry announced on Tuesday.

“The establishment of the Day of National Unity to celebrate the inclusion of Belarus in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a glorification of the Soviet heritage and an attempt to cut off Belarus from its true roots. This is an act undermining the independence and sovereignty of Belarus,” stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The pact that cost 60 million lives

On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union backstabbed Poland, implementing the agreements of the secret Ribbentrop-Molotov pact concluded by the USSR and the Third Reich on August 23, 1939, which directly led to the outbreak of WWII.

“This joint Soviet-Nazi attack on Poland started the most terrible war in the history of the world, which cost the lives of 60 million people, including Belarusians. Many of them died in German concentration camps and Soviet labor camps. September 17 deprived several hundred thousand Polish citizens of their citizenship, dignity and finally, life, in the Soviet Russia inland,” the statement of the MFA reads.

It was noted that the significance of September 17, 1939, for Central and Eastern Europe was mentioned in the resolution of the European Parliament of September 19, 2019, which clearly points to the Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia as the states responsible for the outbreak of WWII.