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Putin arrives in Normandy for D-Day celebrations

June 06, 2014, 13:26 UTC+3 DEAUVILLE
The joint fight against Nazism will help build relations between the countries in the future, Russian president says
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Vladimir Putin leaving the Elysee Palace on May 5

Vladimir Putin leaving the Elysee Palace on May 5

© EPA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA

DEAUVILLE, June 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Normandy to take part in the 70th anniversary of the D-Day celebrations.

“The Russian president jointly with the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Britain, Italy and other countries will take part in the D-Day celebrations. The leaders of 17 states will arrive in France for the solemn celebrations,” the Kremlin said.

Putin participated in such event in Normandy 10 years ago.

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

Putin considers Russia’s participation in the D-Day celebrations a landmark event. The joint fight against Nazism will help build relations between the countries in the future, he said.

“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.

“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,” he said.

On Thursday, June 5, Putin met with French President Francois Hollande and United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron.

On Friday, June 6, he is expected to confer with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin earlier said, “I won't run from anybody.”

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

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