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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Blames 1949 German Partition on West

The Foreign Ministry issued an unusual statement Tuesday aimed at putting the record straight about the former East Germany and defending Soviet actions at the time of its creation. Noting that this week marks the 50th anniversary of East Germany's founding, the ministry said it wanted to correct what it called "attempts to distort the historical background of the formation of the Federal Republic [West Germany, or FRG] and the German Democratic Republic [East Germany, or GDR]."

"The emergence of the GDR cannot be examined separately from the process of the demilitarization and denazification of Germany, in keeping with the anti-military and anti-fascist mood prevailing in postwar Europe," the statement said.

It said the Soviet Union had opposed splitting Germany into two separate states and said the Western powers - the United States, Britain and France - occupying the western half bore responsibility for the 40-year division.

"[On the Western powers' initiative] a separate German mark was put into circulation in the western part of Germany, which led to the collapse of Germany's common economic and political space and undermined the chances for preserving its unity."

The ministry statement noted that Germany owed its reunification to major changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe that helped bring an end to the Cold War.

"We recall all this for those who are interested in an objective interpretation of the events of recent German history and who have a responsible approach to the task of building a new Europe without dividing lines," the statement added.

Russia often refers to NATO's plans for eastward expansion as an attempt to recreate Cold War-style divisions in Europe. The Kremlin strongly opposed the alliance's admission this year of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.