Russia lashed out at a resolution likening Stalinism to Nazism adop,ted last week by the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It had been proposed by ex-Communist states, Lithuania and Slovenia.
“We consider unacceptable the fact that in the OSCE’s parliamentary assembly resolution there is an attempt to distort history with political goals,” said Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko.
“This does not contribute to creating an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the member states of this body,” he added.
Lawmakers from member states of the 56-nation OSCE passed the resolution last Friday at a meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius by an overwhelming majority.
The resolution was meant to mark the 1989 fall of the Iron Curtain. It encountered stiff Russian opposition and Moscow’s delegates boycotted the vote.
The resolution said 20th-century Europe had faced “two major totalitarian regimes, the Nazi and the Stalinist, which brought genocide, violations of human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
It urged all OSCE members to take a “united stand against all totalitarian rule from whatever ideological background” and slammed the “glorification of totalitarian regimes, including the holding of public demonstrations glorifying the Nazi or Stalinist past.”
Despite being blamed for the deaths of millions of people through purges and forced farm collectivization under his rule, Stalin remains a hero for many Russians for his role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II.
He came third in a nationwide poll last year to find Russia’s greatest-ever personality.
However he is vilified in eastern Europe for imposing dictatorial Communist regimes across the region, which remained in power until the 1980s.