MOSCOW, April 30. /TASS/. The Kremlin "takes into account" the reasons preventing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from attending festivities in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
He could not confirm whether President Putin had familiarized himself with the letter from the Japanese prime minister. "I cannot say whether the letter has been received or not," he said, adding that he himself had learned about it from media.
Earlier on Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the prime minister had sent a personal letter to the Russian leader, explaining the reasons why he could not visit Moscow.
"The letter explains that the visit to Moscow cannot take place because of prime minister’s schedule," Suga said without elaborating on the letter further.
On April 28, the Japanese government announced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would not attend Moscow festivities on May 9, citing his busy schedule. Previously, Japanese media repeatedly said the prime minister would not attend Moscow celebrations because of the stances assumed by the US leadership as well as the leaders of other G7 countries.
He reportedly took into account the absence of progress at talks with Moscow on a peace treaty and the disputed South Kuril Islands. At the same time, these problems did not prevent the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi from taking part in Victory Day festivities ten years ago.
The leaders of around 30 countries have confirmed their participation in the Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, among those who confirmed their participation in the celebrations are presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia; presidents of China, Cuba, India, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Macedonia, Mongolia; leaders of Cyprus, Palestine, Serbia, Slovakia and Czech Republic; the German Chancellor and heads of UN and UNESCO.