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SOCHI, May 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the peoples of Ukraine and Georgia rather than these countries’ leaders on the Victory Day anniversary on May 9 because of the absence of dialogue with presidents Petro Poroshenko and Giorgi Margvelashvili at the proper level, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
"You know that there is no dialogue at the proper level, and in case with Georgia there is no dialogue at all between the Russian leadership and the leadership of these countries," Peskov said, adding that, nevertheless, the Russian leader congratulated the friendly peoples of Georgia and Ukraine on May 9.
Peskov noted that Russia "had never initiated the negative processes in our bilateral relations that had taken place" and always favored good relations with its neighbors.
"The president has repeatedly said that the crisis relations at the inter-state level have no effect whatsoever on the good feelings and traditions in relation to the peoples of the countries that are traditionally close to us - the peoples of Georgia, Ukraine and other countries. That’s why the president’s congratulations were addressed to the people," Peskov said.
On May 8, Putin sent congratulations on the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Victory in its Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. According to the wording of the message posted on the Kremlin website, he congratulated the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia "and also citizens of Georgia and Ukraine."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken highly of the May 9 Victory Parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
"[He] spoke highly [of the event]," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked how the president evaluated the Victory Parade. "Indeed, the parade was absolutely flawless," the Kremlin spokesman said.
When asked why Putin made no mention of the Soviet Union’s allies in World War II during his speech at the parade, Peskov offered "not to draw any meaningful and conceptual conclusions from this fact." "Firstly, the speech at the parade is limited in time. Secondly, last year where there were many foreign guests and there were jubilee events [the 70th anniversary of the Victory], a lot was said about this [the allies]," he said.
According to Peskov, the Kremlin is delighted with the atmosphere of unity and uplift at the Immortal Regiment march to pay homage to WWII heroes held on Victory Day.
"Raising the issue about the level of the Immortal Regiment is inappropriate, because here we are talking about the people’s initiative," he said. "One can only admire this atmosphere of unity and general uplift, which traditionally reigns during such events."
In his opinion, "the fact that the president decided to march with the ‘regiment’ through Red Square carrying his father’s portrait, speaks for itself."
Vladimir Putin joined the Immortal regiment march on May 9. He took part in the event for the second time carrying the portrait of his father, a World War II veteran.
This year the Immortal Regiment march brought together more than 700,000 people in Moscow alone.