The 1939 German-Soviet Non-aggression Treaty saved hundreds of thousands of lives, Russian diplomats claim. According to the Foreign Ministry, signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a ‘forced step’.
“Thanks to the Soviet-German Non-aggression Treaty, the [Great Patriotic] war began in the areas that were more strategic for the USSR, and the population of these territories faced the Nazi terror two years later. Thus, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved,” the publication reads.
The treaty of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the USSR, commonly known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, was signed on 23 August 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov. According to the document, the both states entered into the commitment not to attack each other.
At that, the treaty included a secret protocol that defined Soviet and German spheres of influence in case of possible ‘political and territorial rearrangement’, which actually meant the annexation of the neighbouring states and dividing their territories.
The protocol provided for the Soviet Union’s feeling free to seize Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Bessarabia (a historical region in present-day Moldova); Lithuania being ‘left’ for Germany. In Poland, the Narev, Vistula and San rivers were initially chosen as a parting line. But since the Nazis occupied a much larger part of Poland; they ‘delegated’ the rights to Lithuania to the Soviet Union as a set-off.
Although the German diplomat spilled the beans to his American counterparts after the conclusion of the pact, it started to be publicly discussed only after the Second World War, in the course of the Nuremberg trials. For the first time. the full version the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was published by the US Department of State in the year of 1948.
The USSR had repeatedly denied the existence of any secret protocol, the state made it public only in 1989.