Bid to Condemn 'Annexation of East Germany' in Russian Parliament

Member of the Just Russia political party Gennady Gudkov (L) delivers a speech during a session of the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, in Moscow September 14, 2012. Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

The speaker of the Russian Parliament, today announced that if Russia 'annexed' Crimea, then the West 'annexed' eastern Germany in 1989. Sergey Naryshkin put forward a motion in front of the parliamentary committee for international affairs which would condemn the German reunification as an annexation.

The proposal originally came from Russian MP Nikolay Ivanov who had taken great offence to comments made by Anne Brasseur, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, when she referred to Crimea's controversial decision to join Russia as an annexation, earlier this week.

"I suggest the following step - we prepare a statement condemning the 'annexation' of the German Democratic Republic by the German Federation in 1989," Ivanov told Narishkin and other parliamentary colleagues.

According to Ivanov, there is even greater case for eastern Germany to be considered an annexed territory, as opposed to Crimea, because: "Unlike Crimea, there was never a referendum in eastern Germany."

"97% of Crimean citizens voted to join their homeland - Russia," Ivanov added, referring to the unrecognized referendum held last March in the region. Although the results indicated that Crimeans wished to leave Ukraine and join the territory of Russia, neither Kiev nor any Western government has recognized the result.

The speaker of the Russian parliament has decided to pass Ivanov's motion towards the relevant parliamentary committee, which will now decide whether Russian parliament will agree to the term or not.

There is currently no set date for the decision but Narishkin has urged the committee to take Ivanov's motion and "dwell on it specifically". Narishkin himself expressed a similar line of argument on Tuesday, during his visit to the Council of Europe on Tuesday.

In an off the cuff reaction to Brasseur's comment, Narishkin said "originators of this kind of logic can also hold that western Germany annexed eastern Germany."

However Narishkin had given no indication he would support such a motion, prior to today, saying that he simply believed the term should not be used in reference to either Crimea or the German reunification.