CHISINAU, April 01. /TASS/. Moldova’s President Nicolae Timofti will not talks part in the V-Day celebrations in Moscow on May 9, presidential press secretary Vlad Turcanu said on Tuesday.
"The president will not go to Moscow on May 9 - he has given an official answer on this matter. On that day, he will take part in celebrations in Chisinau," he said.
In late February, Moldova’s government approved a plan of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 that had been adopted by the Council of CIS heads of state. The plan however was later amended.
"Moldova will decorate veterans with medals of its own design - featuring no hammer and sickle /an element of the Soviet state emblem - TASS/. More to it, Moldova will celebrate on May 9 the victory in the Second World War but not in the Great Patriotic War as provided by the CIS plan," Moldovan Defence Minister Viorel Cibotaru said, adding that the Moldovan military had been invited to take part in the V-Day Parade in Moscow but would not go there due to the absence of a political decision of the country’s authorities.
Moldova’s decision to skip celebrations in Moscow caused mixed reaction in Moldovan society. "We are witnessing attempts to falsify history, to equal Soviet soldiers with veterans of Wermacht and Romanian dictator Antonescu. We in Moldova will celebrate the victory in the Great Patriotic War," leader of the Party of Socialists Igor Dodon told TASS.
According to various estimates, about 400,000 Moldovans fought in the Red Army during the Second World War. As many as 250,000 of them were awarded orders and medals, eighteen won the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. By now, about 1,700 WWII veterans are living in Moldova.