27 November 2009, 11:50

Vyacheslav Kantor: one mustn't revise history

Vyacheslav Kantor: one mustn't revise history

Today it is inadmissible to revise history and rank together those who unleashed the Second World War with those who stopped it, says a businessman and art patron, the president of the European Jewish Congress, Vyacheslav Kantor, following his meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Today it is inadmissible to revise history and rank together those who unleashed the Second World War with those who stopped it, says a businessman and art patron, the president of the European Jewish Congress, Vyacheslav Kantor, following his meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In Moscow the prominent international public figure tackled the ways of fighting anti-Semitism, xenophobia and extremism, ways to promote tolerance in Europe and the world at large, and also the international events that are due to be held in 2010 as part of the celebration of the 65th anniversary of Victory Day. One such event will be the third World Holocaust Forum in Krakow on January 27th. This time the forum will be held under the auspices of the European Parliament. Given that fighting racial discrimination, xenophobia and the various related forms of intolerance remains a priority of the Russian Federation's home and foreign policy, President Dmitry Medvedev said he would send a "high-ranking" representative to the forthcoming forum.  

Vyacheslav Kantor also focused during his meetings on countering attempts to revise history and the results of the Second World War. We are against drawing parallels between Stalinism and Nazism, Kantor said, because we see the difference between those who started the Holocaust and those who stopped it. It's for that reason that the European Jewish Congress has advanced a proposal to President Medvedev for marking January 27th in Russia not just as Holocaust Memorial Day, but as the "Day of the Liberation by the Soviet Army of the Auschwitz Death Camp - International Holocaust Day". This would underline the Soviet Army's brilliant feat of heroism.

But the parties to the meetings in the Kremlin and at the Foreign Ministry also took up for discussion other subjects besides preserving the historical truth and holding an international Holocaust Memorial Forum. The nuclear problem of Iran, North Korea and Pakistan proved no less important to Vyacheslav Kantor. He specifically briefed his interlocutors on the initiative of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe. The organization invites all those interested to take part in setting up a centre of rapid reaction to the nuclear threat.

First of all, Vyacheslav Kantor says, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan should come to realize that there is a certain centre of good will, a decision-making centre that would react at once to a deterioration of the situation, without getting bogged down into protracted debates or innumerable coordination moves. So, we have suggested to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia should set up this kind of centre of rapid reaction to any development that sparks concern. But generally this would prove precisely a deterrence centre, a centre of rapid reaction to nuclear threats. We believe it would prove the best if such centre were headed by the US and Russian Presidents. The centre would take care not only of nuclear arms sales, but of any transaction involving nuclear technology, nuclear fission materials etc, says Vyacheslav Kantor.

The businessman is certain that the world community is currently close to some "sanitary line", which, if crossed, would trigger the inevitable imposition of sanctions. But the mechanisms of containing the nuclear threat through the application of Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter (economic sanctions all the way to resorting to military containment) are still available. According to Vyacheslav Kantor, Russia, the United Stets, China and other major players should, given the emerging nuclear threats, give up their mistrust of each other and agree common moves to settle the situation.   

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