Polish, Baltic presidents issue statement on Russian revisionism

Sergei Ilnitsky/PAP/EPA

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have issued a statement expressing concern at Russian historical revisionism and in particular the possible closure of the 'Memorial' international historical and civil rights society.

Presidents Andrzej Duda, Gitanas Nauseda, Egils Levits and Alar Karis wrote in the statement that the Memorial society is one of the oldest independent organisations protecting human rights in Russia and documenting Stalinist crimes across the former Soviet Union.

"We very much appreciate the sacrifice and determination of Memorial workers and the remembrance of the victims of Soviet crimes committed against the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian nations as well as millions of Russians, Ukrainians and representatives of other nations," the heads of state wrote.

They also expressed recognition of the work of Russian citizens "ready to speak the whole truth about an uncomfortable history and breach of human rights by totalitarian regimes.

"That work contributes significantly to the building of European collective memory," they wrote.

The four presidents agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against "the falsification of history, disinformation and historical revisionism" and said they would together guard historical memory about crimes committed by totalitarian regimes.

The Memorial International Historical-Educational, Charitable Society of Defence of Human rights was established in Moscow in January 1989. Its motto is "The truth about the past for the sake of the present and the future."