The Latvian Foreign Ministry categorically rejects the assertions made in a 19 June article by Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, called "The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II" (in English). The Baltic States were illegally occupied and annexed, through the use of threats and military provocations. The USSR broke commitments of its international agreements and engaged in an act of aggression.
The sovereign will of the people was falsified in sham elections and the illusory autonomy of the Baltic States under the circumstances of Soviet occupation was merely a cover for the criminal policies of the Soviet regime that were dictated by the Soviet State and the communist party leadership in Moscow. In the above-mentioned article, although President Putin did express support for the 24 December 1989 resolution of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies which condemned the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, his words gave support in general for the aggressive foreign policy of the Soviet Union.
It is with regret that we ascertain that the institutions of power in today's Russia are not ready to look objectively upon the responsibility of the Soviet regime for sparking the Second World War and for innumerable crimes perpetrated against the people of Europe, Russia, and neighbouring countries.