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The 80th anniversary of the Munich Agreement

The Munich Conference with the participation of Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France was held on September 29, 1938.

As a result, the Munich Agreement was signed providing for the partition of Czechoslovakia (the representatives of which were not even invited to this “event”) and the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany.

This agreement was one of the keys in the development of the international processes that gave impetus to the implementation of the Third Reich aggressive plans.

In fact, it led to the outbreak of the 2nd World War in Europe. Great Britain and France responded on Hitler’s expansionism with the policy of “pacifying the aggressor”.

At the same time, the main role was played by the British, who put forward the concept of “neutralizing” Czechoslovakia.

Then they made it very clear that they were happy with ‘any’ option for the development of the Czechoslovak crisis, and London would not hinder the German expansion to the East.

Thus, Great Britain sought to push the Nazi regime in Berlin to a military clash with the Soviet Union, and stay away from the main conflict. In the end, this plan was largely implemented.

The Soviet Union at that time was standing for the creation of a full-fledged collective security system in Europe that could help to prevent the ensuing military clashes and their catastrophic consequences.

In September 1938, the large Red Army forces were moved to the western borders in order to protect Czechoslovakia from the German military invasion and subsequent partition.

However, the Polish and Romanian governments’ consent to the passage of Soviet troops through their territory (due to the absence of a common border between the USSR and the Czechoslovak Republic at that time) was not granted.

Poland played an extremely unsavoury role after the Munich agreement. It tries to present itself as a peace-loving “victim of totalitarian regimes.”

Not only did it not oppose the shameful Munich agreement, but also took advantage of it, having stolen a part of the Czechoslovak territory by collusion with the Germans. It is unfair to ignore the fact that the Poles were among the first to conclude a non-aggression pact with the
Nazis.

The USSR was forced to normalize its relations with Germany, only after it became convinced that the leading Western powers were not interested in safeguarding collective security in Europe and were acting counter to the interests of the Soviet state.

The main motive for the Soviet Union to sign a Non-aggression Treaty with Germans on August 23, 1939, was not expansionism, but a goal to gain time and space while standing on the threshold of imminent conflict with the Third Reich.

Developments that followed – Hitler’s aggression against the Soviet Union – proved it right. Moscow was forced to come to that agreement with Berlin made in the form of political compromise.

The main reason, first of all, was the evasive position of London and less importantly Paris in the issue of mutual military assistance in case of large-scale aggression by the Nazis in Europe.

It was the “Munich betrayal” that became the prelude to the 2nd World War, led to disunion of possible allies in combat against Nazism and caused mutual distrust and suspicion.

“Munich players” actions prove the impossible creation of an efficient system of collective security without the participation of all European counties, including Russia. Lack of intelligent assessment of the past leads to the emergence of new marking lines on the European continent.

We look at a vivid historical example of counterproductive attempts to isolate Russia and promote non-cooperation in combating common challenges and threats.

Western countries should learn the lessons of history. The common space of peace and prosperity in Europe and beyond can only be built in close cooperation with the Russian Federation.

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