Reasons behind Russia's high-profile V-Day celebrations
Updated: 2015-05-05 10:51
BREAKING DIPLOMATIC ENCIRCLEMENT
For the Western world, attending Russia's Victory Day celebration is a departure from their joint stance on keeping up pressure on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and alleged involvement in the fragile situation in Ukraine.
Therefore, it's no surprise that the West has taken a general stance by boycotting, directly or indirectly, the parade.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia has sent invitations to leaders of 68 countries and the heads of the United Nations, the Council of Europe as well as the European Union (EU), with leaders of 26 nations having confirmed their participation, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cuban President Raul Castro.
By contrast, the Western countries seemed not so active: the United States will be represented by its ambassador to Russia at the parade while France will send a ministerial representative to Moscow on May 9.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to come to Moscow on May 10, but British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his absence.
Russia has slammed the United States and the EU for discouraging some European countries from attending the celebration. However, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that some Western leaders' absence from the event "will not spoil its festive atmosphere and the scale of the holiday."