Belgian PM: eastern front determined victory over Germany

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt pointed out the high number of casualties on the Eastern front during WWII and its determining role in defeating the Nazis.

"I am full of respect to the peoples of the former Soviet Union who fought in the war, which was the longest for some and the most deadly for others. The pain, destruction and suffering were devastating. The most striking human losses were on the Eastern front, and its contribution to the victory over Germany was determining," the Belgian premier said ahead of his trip to Moscow.

"The number of veterans who were eyewitnesses of the events is dropping, and it is therefore essential to hear their words and their recollections, and once again pay tribute to them for their contribution to ending WWII," the premier said.

He said he saw the upcoming celebrations as an important occasion.

"It should be the time for us to pause and deliberate over our past and our future, the basis for our present, and how we are going to continue building peace and welfare," said Verhofstadt.

He believes the forthcoming celebrations will "be a good opportunity for us to declare our commitment to peace and international cooperation in the name of freedom and well-being of our citizens."

He added that the way defeated Germany reviewed its past and build a new life "is an example for all of us."

The Belgian prime minister is expected in Moscow for the V-E Day celebrations.

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