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Putin to meet with Merkel, mark D Day anniversary with world leaders

June 06, 2014, 7:17 UTC+3 DEAUVILLE

“No public speeches are expected to be made,” the Kremlin said

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DEAUVILLE, June 06, 6:24 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend on Friday the festivities marking the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandy.

At Benouville Castle (Normandy), the Russian president, together with the heads of state of France, Germany, the United State, Britain, Italy and other countries, will attend the celebrations devoted to the Second Front in Europe in World War II, the Kremlin press service said.

Putin attended a similar jubilee event in Normandy a decade ago.

“No public speeches are expected to be made,” the Kremlin said.

The Friday programme is expected to begin with formal lunch in honor of the guests on behalf of French President Francois Hollande, to be followed by spectacular shows.

Putin regards Russia's participation in the jubilee a momentous event.

"We will pay tribute to those who prevented Nazism from enslaving Europe, and I believe that Russia’s attendance is a momentous event. The thing is that Russia and the anti-Hitler coalition countries, including France, were allies in that struggle for freedom, and my country played a vital and maybe even the decisive role in defeating Nazism," Putin said in an interview with French media, underscoring that " we’ll never forget the French Resistance fighters and the French soldiers who fought side by side with us on the Soviet-German front, which is also called the Eastern front. I believe that this should not only remind us about our history, but also help to promote our relations now and in the future. "

On Thursday, Putin met with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. A meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected on Friday, but the Kremlin does not rule out other contacts. Putin earlier said "I won't run from anybody."

Ukraine remains the key problem in relations between Russia and the West. Pyotr Poroshenko won the presidential election in that country. He, too, was invited to Normandy.

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