Putin not to attend memorial events at Auschwitz
Updated: 2015-01-14 10:12
Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle near the Monument for the victims of Fascism during a ceremony in Birkenau in this January 27, 2005 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]
MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is not going to attend the Auschwitz liberation memorial events in Poland, Kremlin said Tuesday.
"There's no such a trip on the president's schedule," Interfax news agency quoted Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.
Peskov said that Putin has not received an official invitation to attend the gathering marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27.
He added that Moscow pays "special attention" to all memorial events on the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War Two but no one has sent Putin a personal invitation.
Poland's Foreign Ministry said it was not the organizer of the event but that no country was excluded from attendance. Formal invitations to foreign delegations were sent not by the Polish government but by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and International Auschwitz Council, the joint organizers.
Relations between Moscow and the West have been dragged to their worst since the Cold War due to the Ukraine crisis.
Auschwitz was the largest of Nazi concentration camps. More than 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, lost their lives at the extermination camp in 1940-1945. The town and the camp were liberated by the Soviet Army on Jan. 27, 1945.