Trump to skip war anniversary in Moscow: Kremlin

By: AFP      Published: 05:07 PM, 10 Mar, 2020
Trump to skip war anniversary in Moscow: Kremlin

US President Donald Trump will not attend celebrations in Moscow to mark 75 years since the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that Washington has notified Russia "through diplomatic channels" that "Trump will not come for May 9" Victory Day celebrations.

Peskov said it wasn't clear who would be coming in the US delegation for the large-scale celebrations on the Russian holiday.

Russia's TASS agency on Tuesday released parts of a long interview with Putin, recorded previously, in which he said any decision by Western leaders to snub the anniversary would be a "mistake".

"For our former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition it would be the right thing to come to us, both in terms of domestic policy and in the moral sense," Putin said.

"We are waiting for them and would be happy if they come. If not, that is their choice. But, I believe, it would be a mistake for them."

Moscow in recent months has sparred with several European countries over WWII-era history.

Putin provoked an outcry after making the claim that Poland and Western powers had colluded with Hitler, resulting in the Polish president skipping a high-profile Holocaust event in Jerusalem in late January.

The argument contradicted the established fact of the Soviet Union's Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Nazi Germany in 1939, which included secret clauses carving up Poland and which paved the way for Hitler's invasion.

Putin in the interview reiterated his view, saying Britain, France and Poland "worked with Hitler" and signed joint documents together prior to war breaking out.