MOSCOW, 11 March. /TASS/. The refusal of some Western leaders to attend the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on May 9 won’t affect the celebrations, Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
"This will not affect the spirit of the celebrations, their emotional component or the scope of the holiday," Peskov told RSN radio, commenting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to attend the parade marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War.
"All who had relation to this event" were invited, and it is up to them whether to accept the invitation or not, he said.
Earlier, a representative of the German government said Chancellor Angela Merkel would not attend the May 9 celebrations. "The chancellor will not be able to accept the invitation to attend the May 9 parade," making a counterproposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin" to visit Moscow on the following day, she said.
"She will arrive in Moscow on May 10 and they will together lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall," she said, adding that Putin had accepted the offer.