Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in an article for Poland's national daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Monday, appealed for "liberation from mistrust and prejudice" in Polish-Russian relations.
Putin, who will attend World War Two commemorations in Gdansk of Poland on September 1, called the war's September 1, 1939 outbreak "the most tragic date in European and world history."
Putin's visit comes amid rising tensions between Warsaw and Moscow over their shared history, most notably over the August 1939 pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that carved up Poland and the Baltic States ahead of the War.
Putin described the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact as "immoral," but noted that it was not solely responsible for the war's outbreak.
The beginnings of this most destructive conflict in our history shouldn't be sought only in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact but also the 1938 Munich Agreement and even the Versailles Treaty, which contained numerous booby-traps," the Russian prime minister said.
Putin told the Polish newspaper: "Our duty is to remove the burden of distrust and prejudice left from the past in Polish-Russian relations. Our duty is to turn the page and start to write a new one."
Putin also praised Europe's wartime alliance against Hitler, calling it "a turning point in 20th-century history" and "the beginning of a process which has today led to a safer and mutually loyal Europe."