"Today we commemorate the victims of a pact that divided Europe along lines deliberately drawn by two dictators representing their respective totalitarian ideologies. 23 August should be officially declared 'Anti-totalitarianism Day,'" noted Michael Gahler MEP, EPP Group foreign policy spokesperson on the 80th anniversary of the signature of the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 23 August 1939."Regardless of which label a dictator attaches to his rule - extreme right, left or religious - history shows that it always leads to oppression:  first of their own nation and then others through threat, conflict and war," he insisted."The European Union through its values and principles is the answer to such tragic historic experience. We continue to be challenged both internally and externally by intolerant authoritarian political forces and even more so by the legal successor of the Soviet Union. The de facto rehabilitation of Stalin by the Russian Government, the repression against memorial and other civil society organisations who try to uphold the remembrance of the totalitarian past must concern us as well. The ongoing illegal occupation of territories in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova and the war in Eastern Ukraine proves that Stalinist thinking unfortunately prevails. We need to continue to support the victims of such aggression and ensure that the pact of 23 August 1939 does not occur again, the MEP concluded.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 182 Members from 26 Member States

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