Russia Warns Baltic Countries Not to Confuse the Terms “Annexation, Occupation” Excerpt from report by Russian news agency RIA

Moscow, 18 July: The Russian Foreign Ministry is calling on the Baltic countries not to confuse the terms “annexation” and “occupation”.Vladimir Chizhov, Deputy Foreign Minister, told journalists on Monday [18 July] that “the terms `annexation’ and `occupation’ are different things”.

He pointed out that, “as applied to the Baltic countries [annexation], it was a matter of the consequences of the 1940 annexation”. “This term was also retained in the interstate agreement between Russia and Lithuania signed in 1991. We do not dispute this,” Chizhov said.

In his words, recently “certain politicians in certain countries have been talking about the recognition of namely the term `occupation'”.

Vladimir Chizhov stressed that “he does not endorse Stalin’s policy. However, all the formalities were observed in the period of World War II in the international-legal sense.”

He warned the Baltic countries against “building relations only on history”. “If you move forward with your head turned back, you may hit your head,” the Russian diplomat joked.

“We suggest that all questions of history should be taken out of the framework of political dialogue. History should be left to the historians and relations should be built on the principles of respect for each other’s sovereignty. Nobody is getting ready to attack your countries,” the Deputy of the Foreign Ministry said, addressing Baltic journalists.

Talking about who should answer for the actions of the USSR, Chizhov
stressed: “Of course the political history of the Soviet Union is the property of all the peoples who made up its composition.”

“The period of the Stalinist repressions is a common misfortune and there were more victims