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Putin is asked to sanction Poland over anti-monument bill

Will Putin let Poland rewrite the history and blacken the memory of Soviet troops?

In response to a recently approved bill ordering the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers in the country, Russian senators asked the president to introduce restrictive measures against Poland:

“We are asking you to order federal bodies of executive power to submit their complex proposals on the possible introduction of restrictive measures in bilateral cooperation with the Republic of Poland as well as against Polish lawmakers who initiated the amendments to the April 1, 2016 law that bans the propaganda of communism and other totalitarian regimes, and other persons and companies responsible for it.”

According to one of the senators, Oleg Morozov:

“The sanctions can touch upon various actions concerning other people. Someone is bound to make particular decisions concerning the razing or dismantling of the monuments. They can also be made by some institutions, some power bodies or some particular officials – all of them can be subject to sanctions.”

In the end of June, 2017, the Polish parliament passed a set of amendments to a Polish law banning any propaganda of totalitarian regimes through any media, including the mentioning of the names of buildings or other architectural sites.

This legislation could result in the destruction of memorials to Red Army soldiers who died liberating Poland from the Nazis between 1939 and 1945. About 6 million Poles (20 percent of the country’s population) died in the war and occupation. More than 40,000 Soviet soldiers sacrificed their lives in the operation to liberate Poland.

Russia’s Lower House, the State Duma, and the Israeli Knesset have already jointly addressed European parliaments denouncing the Polish bill as an insult to the memory of Soviet soldiers who died while liberating Europe, and to the memory of Holocaust victims.

According to Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, the president had not made yet any decisions on the response to the Polish bill. In addition, he said that the Kremlin expected particular proposals on possible restrictive measures from the senators.

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